The Hammer (R)

Comedy 89 March 21, 2008
By Aaron Hillis
Former Loveline and The Man Show co-host Adam Carolla brings his self-deprecating, improvisational, regular-dude deadpan—as well as his former Golden Gloves status—to this semi-autobiographical comedy with ambitions so low that one might call it charmingly mediocre. Carolla’s sitcom-grade doppelgänger is Jerry Ferro, a once-promising southpaw with the titular nickname who quit boxing for a life of menial construction jobs and a girlfriend who loathes him. After a ludicrous sparring match against a beefy up-and-comer, the unfit 40-year-old tries for one last shot at Olympic glory, and Carolla tries to sell us on the mustiest of underdog premises. Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld (Kissing Jessica Stein) and written by long-time Carolla producer Kevin Hench, the film is essentially Rocky Balboa in a lighter weight class, with snarky barbs, a wacky Nicaraguan sidekick (Oswaldo Castillo), and a too-good-to-be-true love interest (Heather Juergensen, Hench’s wife and she who smooched Jessica Stein). With collaborators like these, it’s surprising the film doesn’t feature lesbians jumping on trampolines, too.
Charles Herman-Wurmfeld Adam Carolla, Heather Juergensen, Oswaldo Castillo, Harold House Moore, Jonathan Hernandez, Paul Alayo, Rian Bishop, Derrick Deane, Lorenzo Eduardo, John Enos III Kevin Hench, Adam Carolla Adam Carolla IFC Films