Me Time – a spectacularly weak entry into the buddy comedy genre 

That pretty much summarises it all. Were it not for Kevin Hart repeatedly shouting the film’s title, you might forget which mediocre Netflix original was filling the space on your screen. 

Me Time unites Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg as the two leads, though neither develop their characters beyond their existing personas. The plot, if it’s possible to credit this loosely incoherent jumble of scenes with such an accolade, is propelled by stay-at-home dad Kevin Hart being left to his own devices for a week. No wife. No kids. And isn’t that just every man’s dream? 

Ironically, for a film that dedicates lengthy dialogue to ‘woke’ virtue signalling, it’s entirely evident where its values lie. This is reiterated by Alan [Andrew Santino] being portrayed as a brow-beaten husband desperate to rid himself of his wife’s clutches, despite abandoning her with their children to go to a party and frequenting strip clubs such that he is recognised as a first-name-basis regular.  

It’s not entirely clear what the film wants to be, opening with low-brow, slapstick ‘humour’, before jarringly transitioning towards something raunchier, with an attempt to inject underdeveloped conflict. As the remainder truly unravelled and lost any semblance of story, I could only think of the other, superior, comedic set-pieces whose ideas this film was blatantly copying. It was like watching a bad kid’s film turned lazy college flick turned uh-oh-we’ve-only-filled-half-our-run-time-what-now? Party! 

There’s no attempt at character development or chemistry. The third act progresses through the motions of ‘the disaster’ and hero separation with frightening transparency, finishing with an unearned emotional climax, proving there were no consequences or value to anything. Unsurprisingly, Me Time has been reviled by fans and critics alike. 

For far too long, I’ve been infuriated by the direction modern cinema has taken. Of the big blockbusters I’ve seen this year, Jurassic World: Dominion, Thor: Love and Thunder, Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness, and Top Gun: Maverick, every single one has been a sequel. That extends to other films I haven’t seen, in Minions 3 and Lightyear (prequel, fine, not sequel). Even The Northman, the only feature I’ve enjoyed in 2022, was not an original, but drawn from the story of Amleth, the same source material for Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  

Excepting Top Gun, which was a masterclass in entertainment vastly improving upon the original, they’ve all been inexcusably boring, generic, uninspired tableaus woven together into something barely resembling an overarching story. Netflix is easily the worst offender in this regard. Their pledge to release one new, original film each week of 2022 has been vastly detrimental to their quality. None are worth watching. Even those at least tolerable, like Spiderhead, or The Grey Man, still never come close to enjoyable, worthwhile, or entertaining.  

Me Time embodies all of these issues, relying upon Hollywood names for their marketing, and leaving no effort for the film itself. What we get is a colossal blank space, which even the film itself cannot be bothered to engage with. Yet for all these public criticisms, the film rose to Netflix’s number one, accumulating almost sixty million streaming hours in the opening week.  

This, apparently, is all it takes to satisfy the modern viewer, who wants bright colours, music, and the occasional scoff-worthy joke to distract them from flicking between different apps on their phone. 

Frankly, I’d be embarrassed to be associated in any way with this film. Until that juicy paycheque rolls in, of course. 

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