June 18, 2024
Chris Rock and Kevin Hart Headliners Only

Cast: Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, who makes numerous cameos alongside Dave Chappelle, Jerry Seinfeld, and Jay-Z.

Author: Harper, Rashidi Natara

Netflix is the streaming service.

Spoken: English

Running time: sixty-two minutes

What It Concerns:

Kevin says, “This is a story about two separate journeys that somehow align and end up at the same intersection at the top,” to encapsulate this Netflix-style documentary about the ascent of two comedic legends. Not even ten minutes would go by before Chris Rock made a pointed jab at Jay-Z and Drake to emphasize how he’s transferring the legacy to Kev. He would also deftly close the show with the words, “I’m ready to go to Hall Of Fame, but I’m still playing, and I’m good.” The documentary chronicles the difficult ascent of these two comedians of color as they co-headline a tour that stops at four major U.S. cities.

What Functions?

In any documentary that follows a celebrity who has overcome adversity to become wealthy, what works is what ought to work. “He never turned out to be the Eddie Murphy we thought he’s going to be,” says Chris Rock as he begins to tell the story of how he’s everything Eddie Murphy told him the day he met him and sailed through his brother Tony Rock. As his brother likened Chris’s journey to watching a real-life Rocky movie, it brilliantly captures the wild ride he had from his disastrous SNL stint to his stunning comeback with HBO’s Big Ass Jokes.

Bringing Chris and Kevin together and telling how Eddie was a mentor to the former and the latter saying, “Your Eddie story is you for me,” works as well because it captures their dynamic so well. Rashidi Natara Harper’s work experience on “Hip Hop Uncovered” also helps to add some high-energy tracks, such as “Daytona 500” by Ghostface Killah, “Legacy” by Coast Contra, “Roc Boys” by Jay-Z, and “LUMBERJACK” by Tyler, the Creator. The documentary concludes with the highly underappreciated song “People Under the Stairs” by Mac Miller.

What Is Ineffective?

Is the humor missing? Yes, it may depend on your expectations going into this one-and-a-half-hour documentary featuring two of the best comedians currently working. Even so, I anticipated some lighthearted storytelling about their personal hardships. I got the standard color-watermelon joke instead, along with some hilarious advice from Rock about eating before meetings and a hilarious GOAT gag at the end about naming a goat Will Smith. They tend to forget that Hart and Rock are the comedians they are discussing because they place so much emphasis on the dramatic aspects of their lives. It’s just that you feel like you can’t focus on the one thing that got them to this point in the documentary-making process.

Final Thoughts:

All things considered, aside from the forced but entertaining Will Smith allusions, this is just another Netflix-style documentary that follows the ascent, decline, and return of two of the most well-known comedians of our day, following Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Michelle Obama.

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