1.5 out of 5 stars
One genre that continues to gain traction as the movie industry tries to find its audience in the COVID-influenced era is the ‘odd-couple’ action film. Australian director Patrick Hughes’ career has been defined by this familiar storyline in his The Hitman’s Bodyguard franchise. His latest Netflix production has the potential for an unexpected streaming hit or may prove to be justified to head straight to home viewing.
Kevin Hart (Fatherhood) takes up the mantle of the lovable loser, Teddy Jackson, whose name has become synonymous with failed entrepreneurial ventures. The developer of contactless boxing manages to punch above his weight class to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend, Lori (Jasmine Mathews). As a means of making up for his misadventures, he has booked them into a romantic cabin getaway. He goes to check out the house while Lori has time at a local spa, but he manages to get the addresses wrong. This causes him to walk in on a situation that involves hired thugs who are waiting for The Man from Toronto (Woody Harrelson) to torture a man for information.
Since they did not know what the man looked like, the two hired guns assumed that Teddy was their man for the job. This one misstep leads to a series of unexpected situations that cause him to be pulled into an FBI sting. An operation that eventually involves a former Venezuelan President, the real identity of the trained assassin, and his prized 1969 Dodge Charger. While Teddy tries to figure out how to get out of this situation, he must travel the world to help the FBI capture The Man from Toronto and stop the bombing of the newest Venezuelan consulate in Washington DC. All the time keeping Lori in the dark about what is happening throughout the weekend.
There is an assumption in the quiet lives of the average person of this world that there is a seedy underworld to make these premises plausible. Most of us have friends like Teddy Jackson, but few can say they would know anyone like The Man from Toronto. Kevin Hart captures the persona of the perpetual dreamer who never truly achieves his goals in life. While Woody Harrelson does make his character someone who might be lurking in the dark side of this world. If anything, he has exceptional taste in cars and home amenities as well as being well trained in every form of martial arts known to man. From there, this is about where the accolades end, even though they do prove to develop some on-screen chemistry.
After the initial premise set-up, things go from ridiculous to unbelievable. Not that anyone watches these films for how realistic they may be, but it is very little about this screenplay that is grounded in reality. Timelines, death-defying elements, and relationships all become problematic as the film progresses. Yet, at the heart of it all has to be the logical jump to how these two men could become friends or work colleagues within a short period. Both actors are good at their trade, but neither seems to make their relationship something worth cheering for in the end. There is a reason this production was picked up by Netflix as opposed to getting a cinematic run, and the story started to unravel early in the process. Eventually, it all ended up a mess on the floor by the ending credits.
REEL DIALOGUE: What do you believe?
Teddy Jackson is the embodiment of the loveable fool.
Foolishness is defined as a person who lacks judgment or sense. It is not a trait left to the simple-minded or those who are less educated. It is truly a term placed on all of us who do not listen to reason, common sense, or wisdom from those who have gone before us.
The Bible has much to say about fools and how to stay off the path of a foolish man. The issue comes down to understanding the life standard set above all other considerations. The beginning of Proverbs says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. This means the path that leads away from foolishness begins with God. Have you considered this wise path for yourself?
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. - Proverbs 1:7