With a cast consisting of Kevin James and Will Smith, it’s an immediate assumption you’ll be in for a good time. For the most part, that rings true in Hitch. James is hysterical, energetic, and entertaining. Smith is as well, but his on-screen relationship goes nowhere other than predictable and drags the movie on for longer than need be.
Smith is Hitch, a date fixer-upper helping the little guy land the women they seek. His job is apparently letting him live the good life as his decked out apartment indicates. Must be a lot of desperate people out there.
His latest client is James, seeking a socialite, yet his style isn’t quite up to par. The “training”, if you will, as Smith teaches James about the way things work is the centerpiece for the comedy here. The dance sequence, the kiss, the temper tantrum at the newsstand, etc — these are all showcases for the lighthearted and fun tone the movie is aiming for.
On the other side there’s Smith trying to reel in Eva Mendes. This goes awry, though not without any laughs. Their scenes rarely carry the fun tone of previous ones, and when the relationship takes a ridiculously predictable turn for the worse, it hits every cliché of the romantic comedy on the way down to rise back up for the inevitable wedding finale.
At two hours, Hitch struggles to pace itself and runs into multiple dry spots. It loses its earlier energy, and the comedy dips off, leaving a rough, dull romance in its place. It’s not particularly entertaining and it’s certainly not fun.
Kevin James steals this movie, even though Will Smith manages to get the only credit on the front of the case. When James isn’t on screen, the movie struggles. Besides stretches of Hitch that go by without a laugh, it’s a well meaning, harmless romantic comedy.
Flat and dull are the reactions to this HD transfer. Something went wrong with spots of this transfer, killing the black levels into a murky gray. They’re not always off, but the film lacks a decent contrast and depth. Whites can bloom and appear noisy. The entire movie is somewhat soft, though does manage some fine details on close ups.
Hitch offers a PCM mix for your audio pleasure, and handles itself as expected. Club scenes, a basketball game, and even some street level New York shots offer some accurate surround work. The soundtrack handles any lows with effectiveness. Dialogue is clean. It’s unremarkable, yet the audio works when it needs to.
About as dull as the Mendes and Smith relationship in the movie, extras are brief. A gag reel goes by quickly at close to four minutes. A featurette titled Dance Steps Made Easy includes unused improv from one of the funniest scenes in the movie, though these are the only clips worth noting in this eight minute piece. The Dating Experts is an extra on the relationship experts brought in to ensure the movie was accurate. It’s a romantic comedy. Why do you need experts exactly? Trailers are the only features left.