Kevin Hart is comedy gold, and he has to be one of the busiest actors in America. In The Man from Toronto, Hart is in his element, and playing against Woody Harrelson makes for some funny moments. Director Patrick Hughes makes the best of his actors, but the story, written by Robbie Fox and Chris Bremner, lacks luster. Touted as an action-comedy, The Man from Toronto offers up only a modicum of both. Still, Hart and Harrelson make it worth the ride.
Hart plays Teddy, an average guy who can’t get a break. He loves his wife, Lori (Jasmine Mathews), and has mostly good intentions. Ultimately, however, Teddy is a man who can’t follow through on anything, mainly because he neglects some minor but essential detail in everything. He’s a man with schemes, and his latest is a fitness regimen he calls no-contact boxing, a discipline heavy on cardio but which doesn’t actually involve punching anything or anyone. Certainly, it is not the worst idea, but Teddy has zero confidence and a propensity to fail. He also figures that Lori, as much as she loves him, is losing patience, and desperation sets in.
The film centers around a case of mistaken identity with a twist. When Teddy tries to give his wife a special getaway, fearing his marriage is on the rocks, Lori and he ends up at the wrong address, where Teddy is mistaken for a killer-for-hire known only by the moniker the Man from Toronto (Harrelson). The mistake is revealed, but the Man and Teddy can’t stop the wheels that are set in motion, and Teddy is forced to work with the Man to carry on with the ruse. A key issue with the plot lies in its disjointedness – the basic premise centers on an escapade where the two men, rivals at first, must work together to bring down a Venezuelan creep who seeks to sabotage his own country.
In truth, The Man from Toronto is nothing special. The story is basic and was it not for the chemistry between Hart and Harrelson would be barely watchable; they offer some decent chuckles. They can carry this film despite its transparent plot and silly story. Hart and Harrelson deserve at least three stars, although I can only punch in two for the movie overall.