- Kevin Hart has been joking about being an action star, but there seems to be sincerity behind his claims.
- Despite receiving poor reviews, Kevin Hart's film "Lift" was one of the top Netflix Originals for January and one of the most viewed Netflix films recently, with over 40 million views.
- "Lift" positioned Kevin Hart as a major action star, even though it leans more into the heist genre and has comedic elements.
Kevin Hart, the beloved comedian, has been calling himself an action star lately. The actor was on The Graham Norton Show to promote his latest feature film, Lift, which was released by Netflix, and he joked about taking his acting more seriously. Kevin was being funny, but there seemed to be an air of sincerity to his claims of being an action star.
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Kevin stars in Lift, an action comedy in which he portrays Cyrus, a master thief and leader of a heist crew who must steal $500 million in gold bullion transported on an A380 passenger flight. Lift received poor reviews and currently sits with a review aggregate of 28% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, fans of Hart and general streaming audiences enjoyed the film, and it was one of the top Netflix Originals for January and one of the most viewed Netflix films in recent memory, with over 40 million views. Lift was also in the top 10 most-viewed films on Netflix in multiple countries worldwide.
Kevin may or may not have been joking about being an action star, but his Amazon series and film Die Hart and Netflix’s Lift seem to be positioning the actor as a major action star in the making; technically, Lift has already done that without anyone realizing it. The movie leans more into the heist genre and has a lot of comedy in it, but Kevin also has some serious moments. The comedian has shown he can do action, like when he starred alongside Dwayne Johnson in Central Intelligence (2016), playing the mild-mannered accountant Calvin “Golden Jet” Joyner.
Hart was hilarious playing Joyner. Johnson was the lead, involved in direct action, but Hart fumbled through many action scenes. Was the actor using jokes and humour to mask his master plan of becoming a real action star like Johnson? Hart has been involved with action films for a few years, and Lift is his first break-out role as a top-billed lead. Hart has been subtly working toward becoming an action star while everyone only saw him as a comedic actor.
Hart’s Serious Side
Like James Carrey and other comedic actors, Kevin Hart has attempted to make a name for themselves apart from comedy. When Jim Carrey was at the peak of his early career, the entertainer, known only as a comedic actor for his roles in The Mask and Ace Ventura, decided to prove to the world that he could also act in serious films. Carrey proved himself and became one of the funniest and best comedic actors and one of the most talented and accomplished dramatic performers of his generation for his roles in The Majestic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Truman Show.
So, too, has Hart been trying to branch out, starring in serious roles such as Matthew Logelin in 2021’s Fatherhood, a touching comedy drama in which Logelin raises his daughter as a single parent after his wife dies. Hart was stellar in the role, and like Carrey, Hart showed that many comedic actors are also well suited to drama and serious roles. Carrey never did become an action star, but Hart has the potential to walk in Eddie Murphey’s footsteps and cross over from comedic actor to action star. Murphy also started as a stand-up comedian and moved to acting and starring in action comedies such as 48Hrs and Beverly Hills Cop.
It may be challenging to wrap our heads around Kevin Hart the action star, because we can only view him as funny. However, the actor has quietly been pursuing dramatic roles and appearing in action comedies for years. The obvious next step is to become a big action star while cracking a joke or two here and there as well. And who knows, maybe he’ll be bigger and better than Dwayne Johnson.
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Can Kevin Hart be taken seriously as a bona fide action star?