(Movie Review by Wes Topher) “Some guys don’t know their destiny till it hits them in the face.”
Can the currently reigning King of the Unibrow really make a decent movie? YES, quite actually.
I’m sure that I am not alone when first hearing that former Loveline / The Man Show “co-host” Adam Carolla was bringing his vision to the silver screen. Give me a break, how can this smarmy self worshipping turd put together an entire feature film that could possibly entertain anyone beyond drunken frat status? First by getting our attention on the TV hit “Dancing with the Stars”. In this case I believe that his dance partner, the incredibly gorgeous Julianne Hough was the true star, but Adam managed to charm the masses with his wit and one liners. He also showed some true humbleness and self deprecation that enabled everyone to relate to him as an everyman. These emotions were successfully carried over into his first feature film endeavor.
Carolla is Jerry “The Hammer” Ferro. Really he’s just a lowly construction laborer whose only real friend is the lovable Nicaraguan immigrant Ozzy (Oswaldo Castillo). Fired from his job and dumped by his live in girlfriend ALL on his 40th birthday sets the pitiful tone for the ensuing comeback.
Jerry goes to the gym to release some aggression, and earn some cash as a handy man. He happens to be sparring with a member when Coach Bell, fabulously portrayed by Tom Quinn, notices him during an Olympic boxing try out. You see, Jerry is “The Hammer” based on his wicked southpaw blast that powerfully sends opponents to the mat. Coach Bell soundly convinces Jerry that he might have a shot at the Olympics. With nothing to lose, Jerry takes on the challenge.
Jerry meets public defender Lindsay (the very lovely Heather Juergensen) while moonlighting as an instructor at the gym. He instantly emotes his contagious jargon to convince her out on a date. This establishes a rather touching and unexpected element of the film. We watch them inspire each other to the point of growing to an imminent split.
As Jerry trains and battles with other Olympic hopefuls, most notably up and coming commercial actor Harold “House” Moore as his nemesis Robert Brown. We cannot help but grow closer with each character as they pursue their dreams. Carolla and director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld of Legally Blonde fame have put together a very sincere independent film that will most likely get overlooked due to Carolla’s previous self focused “Manly” stature.
The special features are well done, complete with outtakes, bloopers and some very cool behind the scenes features. I liked the one on one with Ozzy (Oswaldo) and Adam. We get to learn how Ozzy and his family escaped from his homeland and ultimately ended up in the USA, as a carpenter for Adam Corolla! The uniqueness of this story alone reflects the sincerity that is portrayed in this funny and surprisingly charmed film. On the cover we see a cheap attempt at comedic stardom. Underneath is a heartwarming movie that deserves some attention.
Charles Herman-Wurmfeld (director) / Kevin Hench, Adam Carolla (screenplay)
CAST: Adam Carolla … Jerry Ferro
Oswaldo Castillo … Oswaldo Sanchez
Harold House Moore … Robert Brown
Christopher Darga … Mike LeMat
Jonathan Hernandez … Victor Padilla
Heather Juergensen … Lindsay Pratt