The Upside Image

The Upside

By Bobby LePire | January 19, 2019

This lazy writing extends to the characterizations as well. The scenes feel all out of order as if someone recut with the movie without paying attention to where the leads in their respective arcs. Phillip’s birthday is approaching, and he does want a party, as his “time and whom he spends it with” is one of the only things Phillip can still control in his life. That is sound reasoning, and when the inevitable surprise party happens, Phillip gets angry. Dell takes him into another room to vent and prepare to see his quests.

With a quiet conversation in the car played against the bombastic and yelling of the moment in the study and the biggest problem with The Upside becomes immediately apparent. It wants to both be a more traditional comedy giving Kevin Hart all of this moments or lines that fit within the public persona of Kevin Hart. Those are at odds with the dramatic side of things, so to balance it out, the movie does a version of the dramatic and the comedic to address whatever given issue is facing the protagonists. There scenes or points repeat themselves, and the film never seems to get anywhere.

That is not to say the film is devoid of artistic merit or good parts. That talk in the car is compelling, and the best scene in the movie sees Dell buy weed for Phillip, as the lingering nerve damage is hurting him quite a bit. After getting Phillip to smoke the weed during a walk through Central Park, the duo stop for hot dogs. The whole sequence of events works rather well. Mostly thanks to the excellent work by the cast. Minus the inconsistent scenes that require Hart to do his usual schtick, Hart proves he has dramatic chops and given stronger direction and a more clearheaded script, talk of awards are not of his reach.

“…Hart and Cranston play off each other well; or at least when the script is not getting in their way.”

It helps immensely that Hart and Cranston play off each other well; or at least when the script is not getting in their way. Cranston’s facial expressions and intense voice are put to great use throughout, as the character can only do move his face and speak. Cranston’s heartbreak or anger is believable, regarding how he delivers them. His constant laughter after getting high is infectious and a moment where he tells Dell, straight up, that Dell is intelligent is sweet.

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  1. C Johnston says:

    Surprisingly really liked this movie. Just saw it at the movie theatre yesterday. We laughed a lot & so did others.

  2. Princess says:

    Enjoy the movie …It’s what I do for a living …So I could relate…

  3. Marilyn Herbert says:

    I enjoyed the Upside. We both did. The audience laughed a lot

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