True Story sees Kevin Hart in a more dramatic role. To be honest, I’m not a fan of Hart’s comedy whatsoever, but sometimes, the comedians who don’t make me laugh can put in fantastic dramatic turns, so I thought I’d find out if that’s the case.
He plays a comedian known as ‘The Kid’, and while flying about here and there, and appearing on chat shows, he’s clearly jaded from the travelling and the fame of being spotted everywhere you go, especially when he meets a white male fan, who recalls an old gig and how the funniest routine of his was “The 50 different meanings when Black folks say (n-word)”, even repeating the word (which I won’t detail in full here), and becoming extremely irritating.
True Story tells the backstage life of The Kid, during which we meet Wesley Snipes – as his brother, Carlton, who runs a failing restaurant – also pops up, but I won’t say when. Before long, since we meet the Kid when he’s six months sober, he goes to a party where everyone’s trying to encourage him to drink again. You just know it’s going to lead to a very sore head.
However, a heavy night leads to a serious problem the next morning, and since the trailer didn’t mention how big the problem was, I won’t say here. It is safe to say, however, that it would be a situation that could end his career, but then his brother already has a criminal record. In arranging someone to deal with the issue, how wise is it to enlist the help of an Albanian heavy called Ari? (Billy Zane) Well, let’s see how that turns out.
Along the way, there’s an amusing scene of winding up the bellhop at the Four Seasons Philadelphia Hotel – where the Kid’s gone to perform in concert and promote his new superhero film with a Q&A, plus every time, Carlton says “I got this”, Kid wisely summarises that events get them into more trouble… And then everything goes from bad to worse.
True Story has seven episodes, but with the first one lasting around an hour, and the rest being around 30 minutes apiece, the opener is effectively a double-length one. These episodes frequently end with cliffhangers – and ones that do work, and it’s about four hours in length, overall. I wish more series would aim for that sort of length. Even if I’m enjoying one, if they go on for 10 episodes, it could be around 10 hours in length, and I don’t always make it through those.
Having watched it all (which I didn’t think would happen for a Kevin Hart series, before I started), it is very far-fetched at times – especially when you wonder if certain characters should really be having conversations on an unencrypted phone, but it’s strangely engaging. Given that this is a one-off ‘limited series’, perhaps we could see another drama with the two leads, as they bounce off each other brilliantly. I’d certainly prefer that to a comedy.
Thanks to our friends at Netflix for the screener prior to release.
True Story is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Netflix from Wednesday November 24th.
Series Score: 8/10
Running time: 60 mins (episode 1); 30 mins (approx) (episodes 2-7)
Release date: November 24th 2021
Series Directors: Stephen Williams, Hanelle M Culpepper
Producers: Tiffany Brown, Caroline Currier, Charles Murray, Mike Stein
Writer: Eric Newman
Kid: Kevin Hart
Carlton: Wesley Snipes
Gene: Theo Rossi
Herschel: William Catlett
Billie: Tawny Newsome
Todd: Paul Adelstein
Monyca: Lauren London
Ari: Billy Zane
Savvas: Chris Diamantopoulos
Nikos: John Ales
Ditmar: Michael James Bell
Julian: Avery Kidd Waddell
Christian: Caleb Elijah
Abbey: Christine Nguyen
Daphne: Ash Santos
Young Kid: Dax Rey
Teen Carlton: Dredon Fowles
Detective Samuels: Thomas Q Jones
Detective Malford: Jessica Clark
Albert: Stu ‘Large’ Riley
Ray: David Bianchi
Rain: Terryn Westbrook
Stripper: Abbey Paige
Roadie: Vitta Quinn
Stewardess: Joanne Spracklen
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.