The Upside is a very strange movie. It is a remake of a monster of a hit French movie and it is also a movie that was completed a couple of years ago. It was shelved due to the Harvey Weinstein incident along with the whole Kevin Hart not so PC Twitter comments that were dug up. As a result, the movie has found itself with a rather unflattering January release window.
How to Stream or Download The Upside
You will be able to stream or to download the movie from iTunes once it becomes available. To check, click on the Download button located below the review. And if you like comedies with Kevin Hart you should also check out Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Night School.
The Film Review
When you see Kevin Hart on a movie poster you automatically think that the movie is going to be a manic comedy. A movie where things do not go his way and he ends up in trouble. That is his shtick and we love him for it. This is not that kind of movie and you get the feeling that Kevin Hart felt that he could branch out and show that he can handle more dramatic roles.
The story of The Upside is that Phillip Lacasse who is played by Bryan Cranston. Is a billionaire who is made paraplegic as a result of a paragliding accident. This along with losing his wife has made him not really care anymore. As a result, he hires a former con, Dell Scott who is played by Kevin Hart to be his carer. He does this as he feels that he will not really care and be willing to do the whole “do not resuscitate” thing that he wants.
The real heart of the movie is the coming together of Phillip and Dell. Phillip manages to teach Dell about the finer things in life and show him things that are classy and so on. Dell on the other hands lets Phillip see how the other half live and how having a hot dog from a cart can be better than any 5-star meal!
The movie handles the relationship really well and it is certainly the strong point of the movie. The way the two bond and connect is very well done and Kevin Hart does a wonderful job. There are still some humorous moments such as when Dell shows Phillips the delights of weed. But there is also a lot of heart and we get to see a performance from Kevin Hart that we have never seen before.
You may be wondering how Bryan Cranston does being a character that can only move his face. Well despite this limitation, his performance is wonderful. He is so expressive and he brings so much life, love, despair, anger and every other emotion you can think of to the role that it really is a wonderful performance.
The problem with The Upside is that it is at its best when Cranston and Hart are on the screen. The movie tries way too hard to add layers. These are done with Cranston dealing with his ex and his estranged son as well as his feelings towards Yvonne who is his assistant and played by Nicole Kidman who, by the way, does a wonderful job with her performance. These layers though that movie tries to add do not really add all that much.
So is The Upside worth watching? I really do think it is the moments between Hart and Cranston make the movie worth a watch and to be honest I feel if they had gone deeper with the class and the race differences it could have made for an even better movie. Still, if you are looking for a good drama that has some heart and also some laughs you could do a lot worse.