Is John Hamburg a director? I mean, really?

Me Time: Why John Hamburg Shouldn't be Allowed to Direct

There’s a movie that dropped on Netflix in August: Me Time. It stars Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg, and it really failed to please. The last few movies that Hart did: The Man From TorontoFatherhood, and Jumanji were all really very good, or at least fun; they were well scripted, the acting was good, and the direction was solid. Me Time, however, I’m not sure if the editing was sloppy, the story was lacking, or if it was just very poorly directed but the movie really fell flat.

          Mark Wahlberg is an interesting actor. In a sense he plays the same character in all, or most of his films and, even with how different each movie is from his last, he generally manages to make his acting style work. Wahlberg has excellent timing, unless otherwise directed—such as in the movie The Happening—and delivery, and I can’t think of many of his movies that I didn’t enjoy. If you haven’t seen Rockstar, you have to see Rockstar, it’s probably my favorite Mark Wahlberg movie. Mark Wahlberg’s comedies, especially when in ensemble with someone he can have a back and forth with (Hart is equally great at that), are really fun to watch.

          Kevin Hart is a very different kind of person than Mark Wahlberg, although he, too, plays similar characters in each movie that translates well from one movie to the next. The two actors seem to have fundamentally similar acting styles that, because of the difference in their personalities, come across differently on the screen. I think Kevin Hart’s great, he’s a comedic genius, and his timing, like Wahlberg, is spot on. When I found out that the two were doing a movie together, I was excited.

Unfortunately, I was incredibly disappointed with Me Time.

          While I’m watching a movie that’s too awful to watch instead of turning the movie off and moving on with my life, I do a little research of the film and the making of the film. I realized that I don’t like John Hamburg. He’s a terrible director. Hamburg directed Me Time, of course, as well as Why Him?, Little Fockers, and I Love You, Man! Every one of these movies missed the mark, but they only just missed the mark. The previews for each movie intrigued me enough to sit through them. I thought Bryan Cranston and James Franco would have excellent chemistry, especially in the context of father and would-be son-in-law, and they almost did, and I Love You, Man! was well received but as good as the story and the script were it could have been so much better, and it is honestly my least favorite Paul Rudd movie. Everything that Hamburg could have been so much better, say if, oh, I don’t know, Shawn Levy or David Dobkin had directed it. At the very least Me Time did an excellent job of exposing John Hamburg as a fraud.

            With that said, I hope Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg work together again, under the direction of someone who actually knows what they’re doing, because the two of them could have a chemistry better even than Hart and “the Rock,” and I really think they could make one of the great modern comedic duos like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

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