The Man from Toronto

A run-of-the-mill hitman comedy that runs out of ideas.

Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson both could have been funny in “The Man from Toronto,” a would-be action comedy on Netflix about a case of mistaken identity regarding a screw-up and a professional hitman. It’s a run-of-the-mill movie with the same old hitman formulas.

Hart plays a would-be boxing coach named Teddy, who is often labeled a screw-up. The people at his wife Lori’s (Jasmine Matthews) job, would replace the words “messing things up” with “Teddying.” He can’t get his no contact boxing name “Teddybox” in the game. And on top of all that, the reason he does a lousy job at promoting the gym he works at, is because he forgot to put the address and phone number on the brochure.

He decides to give Lori a birthday getaway at an Airbnb, where he can’t read the address on his receipt, because he didn’t change the printer toner. While she’s getting pampered at a nice spa, he finds him in the wrong place, where bad men think he’s the anonymous hitman, known as “The Man from Toronto.”

As a result of this screw-up, Teddy must play the part in order to save the world. He finds himself in hot water, when he meets the real deal played by Harrelson. He’s obviously the real hitman if he can grab Teddy’s hand in a harsh way.

The Man from Toronto is given targets by his no nonsense handler (Ellen Barkin), who would eventually be revealed as a villain. Or we already knew that. Or whatever the movie wanted us to think. We didn’t fall for it.

She also has to deal with the fact that Teddy is with him on the mission, and he’s aggravated by his clumsiness and goofy aspect. What tough hitman wouldn’t?

“The Man from Toronto” was directed by Patrick Hughes, whose last film “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” was on my worst list last year. It’s not as bad as that film, because it doesn’t try as hard as that bomb did. It has, at least, one laugh when a cargo plane is flying out of control, and the hitman is hanging on a rope with Teddy falling and grabbing on to him. And there are a few smiles from time to time.

But the problem with the movie is the script, which is more of the same, the action sequences which is too harsh and exhausting for a PG-13 rating, and the characters who are just plain standard. I have a hunch this movie will be a hit on Netflix, considering that streamers have ignored my warnings on “Red Notice” and last week’s “Spiderhead.”

Hart and Harrelson both give hit-and-miss performances, but they aren’t given the kind of material they deserve. They can do better than succumb to the cliches here. Hart was able to prove his dramatic skills in last year’s Netflix hit “Fatherhood,” while Harrelson was able to make “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” a better so-so sequel than its predecessor.

It makes more sense that it skipped the theatrical release, because it’s not a movie you would see in theaters. It’s an internet movie, and a pretty dull one at that.

Rating: 2 out of 4.

Streaming on Netflix

Categories: Action, comedy, Crime

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