Hitch Review – A convincing Will Smith comedy

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I’ve always had my doubts about Will Smith and his leading man material. Having not seen The Pursuit of Happyness, the first two Men in Black movies or any of his attempted Oscar baits, I’m left with Suicide Squad, Shark Tale and Wild Wild West as my only points of reference to an apparently amazing actor. And while Hitch doesn’t exactly prove to me that he’s an incredible performer, it does somewhat reassure me he’s not coy or unreceptive to a leading role; especially not one as thoroughly enjoyable as this.

Because for all his floundering and smirks towards the camera, Will Smith seems to be having a good time throughout Hitch, and that transferred well enough, so well in fact that even I started to have a good time. It’s an unnecessary level of charm to put into one man, but Smith is seemingly relaxed the whole way through; which is a compliment and a harsh criticism all wrapped in one. On the one hand this makes the lighter, more comedic moments of the movie work so much better, but at the same time the more heavy-handed approach to some subplots fails entirely, due to how relaxed and smug Smith acts the whole way through.

Of course, the writing doesn’t help that smug feeling. It’s written as if it had a checklist of clichés to make its way through in as fast a time as anyone could possibly fathom. Full of filler lines you’ll have heard in at least six other movies at this point, the volume of romcoms in the first few years of the 2000s was prominently high. It’s terrifying.

What’s even more terrifying is any movie that includes Kevin James as more than a cameo or a punching bag. Thankfully, Hitch manages to pull out all the stops and present us with a passable Kevin James performance. Even then, James isn’t the most surprising of all, however charming his performance may be it’ll be overshadowed by the strange concoction Eva Mendes brings us. Mendes used to be a household name, but these days I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what she’s up to. Acting doesn’t seem to be it, but here in Hitch she provides a suitable performance as the leading love interest, albeit one that is riddled with cliché and post-modernist anecdotes that don’t always sit well; these infrequent messages often mess with the pacing and more redundantly don’t fit with the narrative.

Soppy, abundantly cliché and worst of all slightly unfunny at times. But it seems Hitch has managed to hook me in somewhat, with its appealing Will Smith/Kevin James chemistry and overall strong performances throughout. By all means could the writing do with some work, but it was a fulfilling, albeit lengthy chunk of romantic comedy that was good for unwinding on a night where a serious viewing would’ve been a real waste.

Was it contractually obligated that every rom-com in the early 2000s had to end with some strange dance off scene as some pop music played? Because if so, it’s a trend I never want to see ever again, much like Hitch. For all I enjoyed my time with it, it’d be pretty futile watching this ever again and expecting something new or different on another viewing. No, Hitch is very much a film you could watch once and that’d be it. Nothing worth going back for. A feel-good movie with no further viewing needed, quite a nice afternoon killer in all honesty.


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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Hitch
Ewan Gleadow
I've been writing for various different places for roughly four or five years now. Currently focusing my writing on film reviews, politics and occasional game reviews. Hopefully you enjoy my work, be sure to contact me if you have any criticisms or praise.

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