James Cole Clay // Film Critic
Kevin Hart has not starred in a single project that has been certified “Fresh” by the standards of aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. The criteria on how to meet such a coveted distinction can be found here.
While a fresh status didn’t exactly happen with RIDE ALONG 2 (currently at 14%), it has the possibility to change for Hart this year with Universal also green lighting two other projects with Hart in the lead. One is a(nother) buddy-cop action film titled CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE alongside Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson, and the other is (another) theatrical standup special, KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW?
America can’t get enough of this endearing little moppet of a man, who has amassed a $800 million in box office totals, which will easily eclipse $1 billion this year.
RIDE ALONG 2, co-starring Ice Cube (the Bud Abbot to Hart’s Lou Costello) hit theaters last week and sweeped in $34 million in opening totals, dethroning the mighty giant that is STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. That’s no small feat and Hart will forever be able to take credit for that
Hart appears to be the main draw for RIDE ALONG 2, THE WEDDING RINGER and THINK LIKE A MAN. This seems kind of strange for a man with immense success selling out arenas as a standup act. He’s probably on set having a blast and, not to sound too boring, fostering a positive work environment.
Hart has gained a reputation for being an insanely positive figure, spreading the message of hard work and individuality, which is great, but that will never change the fact that his films are void of anything of real merit. Hart is one Netflix deal away from being the next Adam Sandler– yes, this is me taking shot at a man who has amassed $300 million in wealth according to “Celebrity Net Worth.”
With RIDE ALONG 2 beating out STAR WARS, Hart pretty much has cemented his place as “The King of January,” which is the equivalent to being Duke of that giant pile of garbage in the Pacific ocean. Clearly, Hart and Cube are phoning it in for that sweet, sweet sequel cash. Hart is a man child (that’s a quote from the film) and Cube is about as entertaining as accidentally buying the unsalted crackers. Let the record state that Hart and Cube have made decent films under the tutelage of director Tim Story (BARBERSHOP, THINK LIKE A MAN).
Look, there’s not much to analyze here in Hart’s career, other than the fact he’s cornered a market that doesn’t mind that he’s making the same three films repeatedly because people will pay damn good money to see him do that. Plus, he’s a solid role model for his fans.
We can choose to find a silver lining in RIDE ALONG 2: the more money it makes, the more money Universal can throw into a JURASSIC WORLD sequel. And we all loved JURASSIC WORLD, right?