Everything about the concert film “Kevin Hart: What Now?” (Universal) — aside from the comic himself — is oversized.
That includes the rock-concert setting at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and the giant video screens used to illustrate his stories. It also applies to Hart’s many attempts to make fun of his own life, in which he now confronts mostly rich-people problems.
His language gets raunchy. But his routine is never bawdy, mean-spirited or smutty.
Vocabulary aside, there are two main problems here: A framing device of Hart in a James Bond-style movie, directed by Tim Story, isn’t particularly funny or original. And Leslie Small, the director of the stand-up sequences, is stuck with long close-ups of Hart contorting himself and squealing to sell his jokes before the 50,000 people in the stadium.
Hart’s frantic gestures are clearly less appealing when magnified on the big screen.
Hart carefully turns all his anecdotes against himself. Though proud of having a suburban mansion, for instance, he talks of the surly raccoon that bedevils him as well as the fearful results of having a long, unlit driveway. He also worries that expensive private schooling has caused his 7-year-old son to lose his “edge” and ability to cope in a difficult world.
Other familiar themes include his vain attempts to communicate with his fiancee, his father’s difficulties with any form of technology and that old stand-by, ordering coffee at a Starbucks.
The film contains occasional profanities and pervasive rough and crude language. (A-III, R)