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“The Man from Toronto” movie review: Kevin Hart Makes the Most of Lackluster Material

The Man From Toronto, a Netflix action-comedy starring Woody Harrelson and Kevin Hart, is the sort of film you fail to remember practically the moment the end credits have rolled, two hours of moderate giggles moved up in a tissue-slender plot that qualifies as an interruption from the dreariness of life, by a very narrow margin. This isn’t the kind of film you would, or ought to, make a special effort to see. Yet, if nothing else, it’s a feature for one small blessings: the minor current wonder of Hart’s timing.

Hart plays Teddy, a typical person from a spot the film calls Yorktown, USA, who can’t get a break. He loves his better half, Lori (Jasmine Mathews). Yet, he’s one of those men who can simply never finish anything; he generally dismisses some minor however fundamental detail. His most recent plan is a wellness routine he calls no-contact boxing, a discipline that is weighty on cardio yet doesn’t really include punching anybody. It’s not such a terrible idea, but Teddy has almost willed himself into failure, and he fears that Lori, as much she loves him, is losing patience.

For her birthday, he books an escape end of the week in Virginia. However, he messes up even that: when he prints out the area of the Airbnb cabin he’s rented, the ink is so faint he can’t peruse the location. This leads him to the wrong cabin, andcauses him to be mistaken for the ill-tempered hitman we’ve already met in the movie’s first scene, the killer-for-hire who goes by the moniker the Man from Toronto (Harrelson). At the point when the FBI blasts onto the scene, Hart stammers his feeble excuse: “It was a low-toner situation.”

What follows is an almost difficult to-follow caper in which the two men, adversaries at first, are forced to work together to bring down a Venezuelan baddie who’s trying to sabotage his own country. Harrelson’s personality, who steps through the film in trim black assassin’s gear, is one of those childishly enigmatic loners whose valued belonging is a 1969 Dodge Charger. He takes his orders from an handler he’s never met in real life, a mystery woman with an ice-white bob (Ellen Barkin). He loves nineteenth century poetry and hopes to leave the hired-killer life to open his own restaurant. He and Teddy have nothing in common, of course. But after they’ve been dangled from airborne planes and shot at by various thugs, they reach an uneasy truce, and almost learn to like one another. Which should hardly come as a surprise.

The activity in The Man from Toronto — coordinated by Patrick Hughes (The Hitman’s Bodyguard and The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard) and written by Robbie Fox and Charles Bremner, from a story by Jason Blumenthal — is simply a reason for Hart and Harrelson to fight and chat as they’re getting thumped around. These two actors are sufficiently prepared to create a few flashes, regardless of whether a large part of the exchange they’re given to work with is, for absence of a superior word, faltering. Hart, especially, has a gift for doing the most with the least. When Toronto snarls, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world,” Hart’s Teddy launches into an apprehensive speech whose stops and starts comprise a sort of staccato orchestra. “Dogs,” he illuminates Toronto gravely, “don’t eat dogs. Presently, normally, a dog might sniff another canine’s dog.” He holds up a beat. “He might lick some crap — every so often — however he will not eat another dog.”

There is literally nothing funny about those lines as written. Yet, Hart is something of a stocky comic iron man, a scrappy pro with the capacity to twist and bend even the lousiest dialogue into a pretzel shape that can make you laugh despite yourself. A short time later, you might be chuckling more at yourself than anything. How does Hart pull off gab that is so unequivocally dumb? To analyze his technique also clinically would only crush its modest splendor. At least, in The Man from Toronto, he’s a life force that prevents the whole enterprise from being dead on arrival.

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