We’ve seen this story before; an odd pairing that shouldn’t work on paper, but over the course of the movie does because we are more than what we see on the surface. We are more than our circumstances, more than our wealth, status, nationality, ethnicity, religion.
“The Upside” is a remake based on a French film, “Les Intouchables.”
That’s what makes the story of human connection so great.
“The Upside” like its title I believe is the celebration of looking at things from a different perspective.
If you can’t tell by now I rather liked this movie. Its timely that we depict a story that yes, has been done before but serves as a reminder at how we are bigger than our present situation. It’s also fitting that the last time we see Kevin Hart on screen he’s looking up at Bryan Cranston’s character “Phillip” sharing a much-needed conversation and smile with his friend “Yvonne” played by Nicole Kidman.
Kevin Hart portrays “Dell,” a recently paroled ex-con down on his luck scrambling against time looking for signatures to prove he’s been out looking for work and just so happens to stumble upon a job opportunity to care for a Quadriplegic billionaire.
Don’t you just love movie set ups?
If I could only, accidentally show up to a job interview for someone of wealth and influence and score a job because of my charm and smart mouth?
Any way. From the initial interaction Phillip is sold on the prospect of Dell taking care of him. Not so much that dell is qualified and equipped with unusual methods that appeal to him; but more so Philip a man filled with sorrow and grief is looking for a convenient end to a life filled with immobility. It’s a stark contrast to see a man with everything at his fingertips who would give it all up just to move them.
The plot is strong and is what we’re buying into, and what we’re cheering on when going to see this movie. Fast forward some and I stress some comedy ensues as the 2 get used to each other, form a deep friendship respectively despite both men having issues with relationships with anyone else. Even in the case of Dell who has an estranged relationship with his son and ex-wife because of his criminal past. “The Upside” is a fine outing for championing just that. While this movie doesn’t do anything particularly spectacular, and that’s also fine. I applaud the release of this film alone as this is one of the last Weinstein produced projects brimming with controversy in addition to that of Kevin Harts Oscar Apology ordeal and an issue of representation that has recently plagued the debut.
That’s a win. Also, your dollars have earned this movie an even bigger win.
Representation is important and I’m not setting that aside. Professionalism and safe work environments for all are too. And just as important, so is being sensitive to what our past actions can do to offend our present public. This team must be proud that in the face of all of that they were able to knock off the then box office champ in DC’s “Aquaman” and claim the title of #1 movie in the world this past weekend.
Kevin Hart on Instagram spoke out how critics “Don’t know Shit!” Now I’m new in the game so I know he wasn’t talking about me, but he makes a decent point. While some bad reviews can negatively affect a movies financial performance, movie stars can transcend that. The audience has spoken, and we’ll see for how long in the weeks coming to this movies box office end.
On the other hand, as a young and promising critic; I can’t look over some of the elements in this movie that make this film a little less palatable.
The editing and some of the cinematography choices made in this move are quite bad. You have many scenes cut together that hurt the pacing of the movie and give you an unassured concept of time that is going by.
The tone of “The Upside” is a matter of taste. For me I love a good mellow-drama. What I was marketed was a slightly more upbeat product that led me to believe I was going to get 70% comedy and 30% drama. Yall can go ahead and flip your expectations as you’re going to get more of a slow moving almost indie film paced story and all the comedy you’ll find in the trailer.
As a fan of Kevin Hart, I applaud his go at a role different from “Ride Along and Night school.” He delivers more heart in this film with a decent acting job that does have some shortcomings mainly in his timing. Comedy is challenging, and timing is everything. In this movie where there are more moments to sit in; the comedic timing is that much more important to land to get that laugh. “The Upside” does an ok job at it and I wonder if shifting the tone more to that 70/30 would’ve helped. Cranston and Kidman are doing their jobs. Not much asked of them here and they were just fine.
This is most certainly a movie that deserves your dollars and your time. Whether that’s in theaters, or on VOD or Blu-ray. “The Upside” is not something to ignore and I think a good starting point for Kevin to operate in some different avenues along his acting journey.
KOLBYTOLDME RATING- 7/10
Director: Neil Burger
Writers: John Hartmere, E’ric Toledano & Olivier Nakache (based on the movie “Les Intouchables”)
Starring: Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman
Run Time: 126 mins