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‘Kevin Hart: What Now?’ Critical Roundup: Reviews Say the Comedian Brings the Laughs in His New Concert Movie

Hart's latest is in theaters this week.

“What Now?” asks Kevin Hart’s new concert movie. According to most reviews, a lot of laughs: In his three-star (out of a possible four) review for the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper puts the movie’s appeal in straightforward terms: “If you think Kevin Hart is funny — as I do — you’ll laugh frequently, as I did. If you don’t, you’re not going to this movie in the first place, are you?”

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Alonso Duralde likewise sings the comedian/actor’s praises in The Wrap:

“Whether he’s expounding upon his fear of wild animals or recounting how he sweated his way through his first experience trying to order something at Starbucks, Hart is a natural raconteur, alternately arrogant and self-deprecating, worldly and juvenile.”

Variety’s Owen Gleiberman is less enthusiastic:

“[Hart] shouts and screams and rasps and rants and talks excessively fast, as if his house were burning down and he was spewing instructions to the firemen on how to get there. A little of this is funny, but a lot of it raises the question: Why is the new king of comedy working so hard to grab and hold our attention? Is he secretly worried he’s going to lose it?”

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Ditto Peter Keough of the Boston Globe, who finds Hart’s brand of comedy a chore:

“Nobody works harder at getting a laugh than Kevin Hart. It’s exhausting to watch. Gold-plated mike in hand, he spins his yarns faster and faster, his voice pitched higher and higher, his burly, bantam body racing, lurching, dancing across the stage with such dogged frenzy that it looks like it’s shot in fast-motion. Contrived, inane, absurd, and occasionally brilliant, it’s all a blur.”

Glenn Kenny, who acknowledges the film is probably “critic-proof” in his New York Times review, nonetheless offers modest praise:

“The movie is a good representation of Mr. Hart’s comedy, but not a perfect one; it’s bracketed by a goofy and lightweight (albeit star-studded) James Bond parody. If I were asked to offer one answer to the question posed by the movie’s title, I’d advise Mr. Hart to steer clear of such gratuitous indulgences in the future. But I don’t think I’m the person he’s asking.”

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