Starring: Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, Nicole Kidman, Julianna Margulies, Tate Donovan, Genevieve Angelson, Jahi Di’Allo Winston
Director: Neil Burger
Release date: 11th January 2019
A car chase speeds through New York and comes to a surprising conclusion. Flash back in time to 6 months previous and we meet Dell Scott (Kevin Hart). Dell is a down on his luck regular guy, but with a prison record. He needs to find a job and fast but things are definitely not going his way. He stumbles in to a job interview in a fancy building but instead of going down to the basement, where he’s supposed to be applying for a janitor’s job, he ends up in the lift and heading for the Penthouse. A load of people are sitting, waiting to be seen and so Dell decides to crash one of the interviews to get a form signed for his parole officer. In the room he finds a startled interviewee, a young woman and a man seated in a wheelchair. He tells them that he just wants a form signed but the man in the wheelchair is intrigued by this bold character. They talk briefly and shockingly, Dell is offered the position of Life Auxiliary. The man is Philllip Lacastte (Bryan Cranston), an exceptionally rich author and businessman, confined to a wheelchair after an accident that also took his beloved wife. Dell feels totally out of his depth but can the two learn to live and work together?
‘The Upside’ is a re-make of a French movie called ‘Untouchable’ from 2011, which starred François Cluzet and Omar Sy and told the story of a wealthy quadriplegic man who hires a young guy from the Projects to be his caregiver.
Dealing with disability issues, you would possibly wonder how this movie could be a comedy. Thing is, it really is one. The relationship between Dell and Phillip is a rocky one at first and Dell is very unsure that he can do everything that Phillip needs him to. Even though he appears to have a tough outer shell, Dell is dad to a boy called Anthony. Through various events, Dell has drifted apart from his son a bit but is desperate to be a good example for his boy. He hasn’t had the greatest start in life but wants to give Anthony everything he can and set a good example.
The pairing of Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston seems to be a bit of a weird one at first but don’t be fooled. Bryan Cranston has a brilliantly comedic side that we don’t really get to see all that often. Mix that in with the wit and humour of Kevin Hart, and you have a buddy movie unlike any you might have seen before. The casting of these two together was a little touch of genius and they bounce off each other effortlessly. Bryan Cranston is great as the paralysed millionaire and allows himself to gradually come out of a self imposed comfort zone.
If you’re looking for a funny and heart-warming comedy, then go see ‘The Upside’. The relationship between Hart and Cranston is fantastic and Kevin Hart will have you laughing all the way through. Go see it.