'True Story' review: Slick thriller starring Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes

Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes in True Story (Image via True Story)
Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes in True Story (Image via True Story)

If you've watched the mini-series and are wondering if True Story is in fact a true story about Kevin Hart, let's get it out of the way that it's not. In this autobiographical seeming TV show, Kevin Hart breaks away from his typical roles. True Story is a dramatic, serialized thriller that follows two brothers whose lives go into a downward spiral following a catastrophic night.

True Story was created by Eric Newman (of Narcos fame) and directed by Stephen Williams and Hanelle M. Culpepper. It stars Kevin Hart in the lead role, along with Wesley Snipes, Tawny Newsome, Paul Adelstein, Billy Zane, and others. It's available on Netflix starting November 24.


'True Story': Plot summary of the Kevin Hart starrer mini-series that would have been better off as a movie


True Story revolves around Kid (Kevin Hart), a celebrated stand-up comedian and actor whose latest superhero movie is inches from joining the billion-dollar club. In order to get back to his stand-up career after years of hiatus, Kid decides to start from Philadelphia – his hometown. The only problem with the 'city of brotherly love' is that it soon turns into a city of brotherly hate.

Carlton (Wesley Snipes) is Kid's older brother who lives in Philadelphia and leeches off Kid's money. He has always detested living in the shadow of his famous and successful little brother and happens to cause trouble whenever he's around.

Apart from the brothers, in the hour-long premiere episode of True Story, we are introduced to Kid's troupe who are the pillars of his career. It includes the enterprising manager Todd (Paul Adelstein), bodyguard Herschel (Will Catlett), and disregarded joke writer Billie (Tawny Newsome).

When Carlton shows up on the scene, everyone is skeptical of his intentions but Kid thinks he's got it all under control. And then we see a grown man who has battled for his sobriety get peer-pressured into drinking vodka. So much for having it all under control.

One thing's clear from the beginning that all Kid has is the illusion of having things under control because everything goes so, so wrong. When a woman ends up dead in his bed, he simply trusts the word of his shifty brother instead of checking for himself. Things get very predictable right from that moment.

Once again, trusting his brother to take care of the situation, Kid seeks the help of a Greek fixer Ari (Billy Zane). Coming in strong with his depraved sense of humor and laid-back attitude, Ari helps dispose of the body to cover up the situation. However, he extorts Kid demanding 6 million dollars and that sets off Kid's fuse. So, to cover up one death, he murders another man.

True Story, with its predictable plot twists, is just two brothers trying to cover up horrible situations and deaths to protect Kid's status quo. Involved in the grisly affair are an unfortunate fanatic photographer, the dead fixer's vengeful brothers, and Kid's apprehensive team of three. The misadventures and cover-ups are punctuated by sibling rivalry and tedious motivational speeches from Kid.

Is 'True Story' worth the watch?

True Story is a 7 episodes long mini-series that wouldn't require a second thought from a binge-watching Kevin Hart fanatic. However, the actor's segue into drama from comedy was not very remarkable. The show might have been better off as a 90-minute movie rather than a four-hour-long mystery drama.

Scenes with Billy Zane are probably some of the better ones in True Story, bringing something fresh to the unsurprising thriller series. Also, major props to Wesley Snipes, whose commitment to his role carried the show on its shoulders. Without Snipes driving the show from its backseat, True Story would just have been another worn-out thriller trope.

Note: The article reflects the views of the writer.

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Edited by R. Elahi
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