Kevin Hart is one of the hardest-working stars in show business. As well as big-selling comedy world tours, he somehow found the time to appear in 35 movies in the past 12 years alone, most of which did the business in ticket sales.
His blockbuster success is set to continue when he teams up with The Rock in Central Intelligence, due to be released in June.
“I am very excited about it. It’s our first film together and we did it big. Warner Bros were behind it and they came with a great idea that we both loved,” he says. “We are taking that action feel to the next level. When you put me and The Rock and put action with it, you can only expect the best.”
Reviewers’ opinions tend to differ from Hart’s assessments. While they never seem to get his humour, Hart has so far had the last laugh with crowds voting with their wallets to send his critically panned features to the top of the charts. Here are five of his most memorable films:
Get Hard (2015)
Hart stars as struggling car washer Darnell who teaches billionaire James King (Will Ferrell) to survive in prison following the latter’s conviction on fraud charges. Unfortunately for King, Darnell has never actually been to prison, and the training he receives isn’t 100 per cent successful. The reviews stank but audiences lapped it up, handing over US$111 million (Dh407m) at the global box office. Perhaps what helped to generate the success was the fact that Will Ferrell, similar to his now iconic role as the news anchor Ron Burgundy, conducted most of his promotional press interviews for Get Hard in character.
The Wedding Ringer (2015)
Hart plays Jimmy Callahan, a professional best man for hire, who stands in at weddings for overworked or socially incompetent grooms who don’t have any real friends to perform the role. The movie features Hart taking on the duties at the nuptials of Doug (Josh Gad), a tax attorney who wants to give his wife Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco) the wedding of her dreams. Of course things don’t go exactly according to plan, with a series of mishaps involving football injuries, peanut butter and combusting grandmas. The movie’s taglinesums it up best: “Sometimes when you buy a friend, there’s a price to be paid.”
About Last Night (2014)
Hart starred alongside Regina Hall in this consciously “black” remake of the 1986 film of the same name, which starred Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, with James Belushi in the role of Bernie, taken by Hart in the new version. The Hart remake transfers the action to Chicago and follows the development of committed singletons Bernie and Joan’s fledgling relationship. The movie debuted at 2014’s Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and was a hit in the States, grossing just under $49 million, but failed to take off internationally.
Ride Along (2014)
The reviews were scathing but audiences couldn’t get enough of the unlikely pairing of Hart as bumbling security guard Ben, and Ice Cube as world-weary cop James. The film grossed a whopping $153 million (Dh562m) on a mere $25 million budget. No surprise that a sequel came out in January. Despite similarly awful reviews, it topped the film charts.
Think Like a Man (2012)
Hart delves into romcom territory in this tale of four couples with one thing in common – all the women are devotees of Steve Harvey's real-life self-help book Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man (sample line: "They then realise that a clear-eyed, knowing approach to dealing with men on their terms, on their turf, in their way, can, in turn, get women exactly what they want.") When the men in the movie learn their partners' secret, they attempt to use Harvey's advice to their own benefit, with predictably disastrous results. Hart also returned for the 2014 sequel, Think Like a Man Too, in which the couples reunited for a wedding in Las Vegas, where their planned romantic weekend away goes awry.