The Hammer: Charmingly Mediocre


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.