The explanation at the heart (pun intended) of Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain has a lot less to do with any answers and more to do with presenting Hart as exactly who he is: himself. He’s not apologizing or hiding behind anything. He’s a comedian with a certain story and a certain brand of humor, and if you like his humor, you’ll probably like his film.
Concert films (and this is a concert film, despite the “concert” being a stand-up act in Madison Square Garden) are entirely hinged on the appeal of the central act. Hart’s show is certainly big on the spectacle he can create in the Garden (pyrotechnics woo!) and big on his jokes. It’s an over-the-top stand-up special but that works for Hart. A lot of the times he is over the top.
Hart’s career developed under the radar of the mainstream media. In 2010 his Comedy Central special, Seriously Funny, was the highest rated stand-up special on the network that year. In 2011 the independently released Laugh at My Pain was a success on the indie level. Last year his role in Think Like a Man helped bring him fully into the spotlight. Let Me Explain, as the film itself argues by documenting his successful world tour, is his crowning achievement.
One of Hart’s big shticks is using his personal life as the crux of his material. That remains true in Let Me Explain. His divorce is front and center in the act and the huge Garden audience is delighted to laugh at his personal trauma. But Hart loves it just as much. He has a reverence for comedy and for the stage on which he is performing. And it shows through all the fireworks and spectacle.
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain opens today in Philly area theaters.