In 2014 Kevin Hart was in four theatrically released films. These ranged from pretty good (Ride Along) to barely watchable (About Last Night / Think Like a Man Too). This year, that number has halved, and it looks like, while he’s not changing up his frenetic, little man routine, he is changing up the type of films he’s making. The main co-stars of his films this year are Will Ferrell (in the soon to be released Get Hard), and Josh Gad, who found fame playing lovable snowman Olaf in 2013’s Frozen. These actors are a long way from his usual collaborators Michael Ealy, Regina Hall and the rest of the Think Like a Man crowd. The important question is, does it work?
I can only speak for the first of 2015’s efforts, but if he carries on like this, it’s going to be a good year. The Wedding Ringer has a lot of funny moments, and I have to say the majority of them come from Hart. Josh Gad also brings some big laughs (his singing voice is hilarious), but it really is Kevin Hart’s film. I would even go so far as to say his performance as ‘Bic Mitcham’ is the best he’s ever been.
Something that I always think adds a lot to any film, but especially comedies, is having very good small characters. This is an area that The Wedding Ringer gets very right. Every member of the cast, even the ones with less than ten lines pull their weight, with every character having something memorable about them. This really is the film’s strong point, as you feel like you’re spending time with the cast, and grow more fond of them as they grow more fond of each other.
Unfortunately, not all of The Wedding Ringer is as good as the great comedic performances. There are a number of scenes that are overly long and not very funny. The middle of the film is quite saggy, although there are a few laughs peppered in that help keep momentum.
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