It’s onerous to shake the sensation that “True Story,” Kevin Hart’s seven-episode Netflix dramatic mini-series, exists due to what occurred to the slapstick comedian across the 2019 Oscars. If you happen to keep in mind, he was introduced because the host of the occasion however then pressured to step down after some homophobic tweets and stand-up bits surfaced. Three years later, Netflix has launched a sequence of a couple of fictional models of Hart who makes a lot larger errors than the true one, in fact, however the present lands in a tone-deaf place about cancel tradition and the way we by no means actually know what’s occurring behind the scenes in a celeb’s life. It virtually seems like “If you happen to thought my tweets had been dangerous …” Worse than the funhouse mirror reflection of actuality is the truth that this drama doesn’t have sufficient meat on its bones for seven (eight, actually, because the first episode is double-length) chapters of tv, and the story it does inform by no means as soon as feels, properly, “true.”
The sometimes likable Hart makes an attempt a change of tempo right here because of the Child, a Philly-raised stand-up (like Hart) who returns to his hometown for a present and reunites along with his troublesome brother Carlton (Wesley Snipes, so persistently essentially the most fascinating factor about this present that he virtually makes it value watching on his personal). Carlton and Child have had conflicts previously (once more, like Hart and his actual brother) however appear to be getting alongside now, even when the older brother calls for him to have a “V.V.I.P. Room” backstage. That’s the place the difficulty begins as Carlton pushes Child off the sobriety wagon, and the movie star wakes up subsequent to the physique of a lifeless lady after an evening of partying.
Carlton is aware of what to do. He calls a fixer named Ari (a really enjoyable Billy Zane) to wash up the mess, however, in fact, nothing goes as deliberate. Ari has some sociopathic brothers (John Ales and Chris Diamontopoulos) who get entangled as “True Story” largely consists of Carlton and Child making an attempt to wash up messes and making larger ones within the course of. It doesn’t assist that Child can’t actually go to his common assist crew, together with supervisor Todd (Paul Adelstein), bodyguard Herschel (William Catlett), and author Billie (Tawny Newsome), or that he’s coping with a public and messy divorce. When a fan (Theo Rossi) will get concerned, issues get even uglier and approach cloudier when it comes to what Hart and creator Eric Newman (“Narcos”) suppose they’re saying in regards to the dynamic between celebrities and those that love them essentially the most. (Followers on this present are offered as stalkers or idiots, corresponding to one who encounters Hart on an aircraft and decides it is fantastic to repeat a racist bit again to him.)
One of many largest issues with “True Story” is the way it typically feels prefer it desires to have it each method when it comes to how we’re speculated to really feel about Child. I don’t want a present to present me with an ethical roadmap, however, I additionally don’t prefer it when it feels just like the creators are indecisive about a couple of characters’ motivations. Is Child a very good man caught up in a nasty scenario? Given the number of decisions, he makes, not likely. He’s sort of an egocentric jerk who values his profession and security over every little thing else. Think about if “True Story” actually leaned into that, presenting a celeb whose complete worth system has been crushed by the highlight. There are occasions when it threatens to grow to be that darkish and far more fascinating however then it pulls again, wanting us to see ourselves in Child when virtually nobody would make a number of the violent, egocentric choices he makes right here.
It doesn’t assist issues that “True Story” is one other type of streaming period venture that ought to have been a Sundance characteristic movie. It has a behavior of introducing supporting characters who might as properly be carrying indicators that say, “We don’t know what to do with this individual.” Probably the most egregious instance is Newsome’s Billie, who feels arranged as an attainable future star, somebody who might sometimes have Child opening for her as a substitute, however then simply disappears into the background. Adelstein, Diamontopoulos, and Ales are one-note. Solely Snipes comes out blazing, discovering splendidly refined beats to play in a present that very not often feels something lower than superficial. He’s such a charismatic and interesting actor that he holds even the least plausible scenes collectively.
Most of all, there’s simply not sufficient sensible human conduct right here in a narrative that depends on coincidence and deep suspension of disbelief (particularly concerning telephones which can be by no means locked nor importing something to a cloud). It’s fascinating to see Hart play unlikable and the present positive factors steam when he permits Child to be a jerk, making one want he might play a real anti-hero or perhaps a villain in a future Netflix drama. Or, you realize what, let’s give that present to Wesley Snipes as a substitute.