Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em

As a fan of Adam Corolla, I watched The Hammer the other day, a film he co-wrote and starred in about a 40 year old boxer competing in the Olympic Trials. This small movie, whose only ambition is to go straight to DVD, is basically a Rocky knock-off with about 10 scenes set aside for a mixed bag of Corolla riffing on driving too slow, the La Brea tar pits as a date destination, etc., and demonstrating his real-life carpenter (and boxing) expertise.

It's funny in parts, groan-inducing in others (Latino sidekicks are funny, because they speak incomprehensible Spanglish and hilariously misunderstand what you say!), and all around pretty generic but somehow endearing (the female lead may have something to do with this...Heather Jurgenson from Kissing Jessica Stein). But there is one thing the movie convinced me of: Corolla can throw a mean punch. It may be hard to believe that he can dance around the ring with guys half his age, but not so much that if he somehow got within range, his overhand left could knock them out.

Corolla has never been, and never will be, a star with a national spotlight, unlike Jimmy Kimmel (who'd he have to fuck, besides Ben Affleck, to get late-night primetime?) and you sense that he doesn't want to. Corolla epitomizes blue collar--his boxing and carpentry skills, no going to some fancy pants college--in ways that only the son of upper middle class parents (mom a sex therapist, dad a psychologist) growing up in the Hollywood Hills really can. As so many comedians become huge stars and then inevitably disappoint as the expectations of stardom exceed their comedic talents (see Will Ferrell's diminishing returns since Anchorman--from the solid Talladega Nights to the so-so Blades of Glory to the nadir of Semi-Pro--and David Cross, who has parlayed his amazing turn on Arrested Development to become ubiquitous in shitty movies--Chipmunks, She's the Man, etc., and let's not forget that Steve Carell is teetering on the edge with Evan Almighty and the inability to carry Get Smart), here's to guys like Corolla, Brian Posehn, Zack Galifinaikis, Patton Oswalt, and Bob Odenkirk who have found a niche and stick with it, and who are funnier and (probably) happier as a result.

1 comment:

Kistulentz said...

Incidentally any of those comics listed at the end of Aaron's post would make fine guest hosts for SNL. Brian Posehn's turn on Californication last week was hilarious.