The Citizen of Toronto

posted by vicky684 about 2 months ago
The Citizen of Toronto
Teddy (Kevin Hart), the protagonist of "The Man From Toronto" on Netflix, is an irritating, obnoxious, underachiever. Anyone who can stomach him for more than ten minutes deserves a patience medal. The most current film by filmmaker Patrick Hughes is 112 minutes long and a compilation of so many prior films that it is the most irritating of all cinematic mashups. Along this road are the darkly comedic hitman thriller, the underdog picture about a fool who wants to prove himself, the stand-up comedian's vanity project, the narrative of mistaken identity, and the violent action flick. This kind of work validates my conspiracy theory that many Netflix films are created just to be played in the background as viewers fold laundry or vacuum cat hair off IKEA furniture. You may leave and return to this film every 10 minutes without missing anything.

Baldheaded Woody Harrelson plays the eponymous Torontonian, a vicious assassin famed for his torture techniques. In an early scene, he is shown carrying out his vocation. Hired to obtain information by whatever means necessary, The Man From Toronto displays an incredible array of cutlery before narrating his background story. When his grandfather was a young boy growing up "on a frozen lake 500 miles from nothing," he was attacked by a grizzly bear. While Grandpa's grandson saw from a distance, the bear quickly dispatched the man. Once the torture begins, begging for mercy will be useless; the assassin's compassion died in the icy water. The story is successful; the criminal confesses and receives a swifter death than if he had remained silent.

The Man From Toronto gets instructions from a woman identified as "Handler" on his phone. The film first covers her identity, but her distinctive voice immediately betrays her portrayer. The Handler, as she is known, has men in places such as Miami, Tokyo, Moscow, etc. When she is certain that her man in Toronto has gone rouge, she will call them. These guys have enormous egos and seem to exist in the shadow of their Canadian colleague. The Miami guy (Pierson Fode) who was first seen killing a man with a golf club seemed to have a resentment that compels him to occasionally return like a bad penny.

So much for the element of the darkly humorous thriller about a hitman. The origin of the underachiever story is Teddy. His patient, dedicated wife Lori (Jasmine Mathews) warns him that her employer exploits his name when someone makes a mistake. She cries out with delight, "You are a verb!" In the first scene of "The Man From Toronto," her husband is seen "teddying" continuously in YouTube exercise videos. At least Hart is masculine enough to impersonate a salesperson for weight training devices like the "TeddyBand" (which smacks and slaps him in the face) and the "TeddyBar," a pull-up rack whose workout consists of the user being crushed by falling equipment.

Marty, Teddy's boss in the boxing ring, has maintained him despite the fact that the marketing brochures Teddy designed do not contain the gym's address. Lori's view that her partner's most recent idea has merit casts doubt on her common sense. Teddy wants to promote "no-contact" boxing, a cardiovascular activity in which players throw punches without being hit. During my amateur training days, the phrase "shadow boxing" was utilized, but what do I know? I am a senior person who has lost all connection with the ideas of today's youth. Marty is also old, and he considers this the dumbest idea he has ever heard.

Teddy is so incompetent that he cannot even do a simple task, such as arranging a pleasant birthday dinner for his wife. Clearly, the already high stakes for his current quest will be further increased. This leads us to the tale of identity uncertainty. Teddy incorrectly identifies the location of the cottage he rented for Lori's birthday vacation due to "low toner" in his printer. So often do characters in "The Man from Toronto" remark "low toner" that it may serve as the premise for a drinking game. Unfortunately, Teddy's mistake takes him to the solitary cabin in Onancock, Virginia, which contains The Man From Toronto's chosen victim. The guys assume Teddy was hired by them. Hell erupts as expected when the true thing surfaces.

You are aware of the content that follows. TMFT is imprisoned with Teddy as he navigates the hitman situation because to Roger Ebert's Idiot Plot hypothesis. The FBI is also encouraging Teddy to put himself in danger, for reasons I cannot adequately explain. In the meanwhile, the FBI is keeping Lori distracted by taking her on shopping trips and spa sessions with a handsome male agent she believes to be on Teddy's side. According to the screenplay by Rob Fox and Chris Bremner, Teddy often says and does things that no one in his position would ever do. This should have resulted in hilarious humor since Hart is an adept at talking his way out of tight situations. However, even his comedic talents cannot redeem this discourse.

All of this culminates in the violent actioner segment, when Hughes applies his godawful speeding up technique, making it almost impossible to understand anything. Along the way, Teddy and the Man from Toronto build a macho but emotional bond, while the person who requested this film on Netflix discovers an impassable hairball. When even Ellen Barkin with a rocket launcher cannot save a film, you know it is in trouble. Barkin, seeming as intimidating and powerful as ever, destroys a series of autos with fireballs that would make Joel Silver beam with pride. Sadly, she was unable to direct it at this movie.
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