Wednesday, June 25, 2008


ABOUT: The Hammer is a comedy film starring Adam Carolla and Heather Juergensen.

Can a guy edging into middle age become a success fighting guys half his age? That's the big question behind this independent comedy. Jerry Ferro (Adam Carolla) is almost 40 years old, and he's spent most of his life going nowhere -- and taking his own sweet time getting there. While Jerry enjoyed some success as an amateur boxer when he was young, these days he's out of shape, drinks too much, and scrapes by working in construction.

Through his work as a handyman, Jerry has landed a part-time job teaching boxing at a gym in Pasadena, though none of his students are likely to ever move beyond sparring as a hobby. One day, one of Jerry's old friends, Eddie Bell (Tom Quinn), stops by the gym with a promising new fighter he's training. Since he's short on sparring partners, Eddie asks Jerry to step into the ring with the young boxer, and while it's clear that Jerry is in lousy shape and out of practice, he also manages to knock out the challenger with one well-placed punch. Eddie is convinced Jerry still has what it takes, and offers to help Jerry make a comeback, confident that despite his age he can land him a spot on the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team.

Ferro’s life is based on Adam Carolla’s real experiences as a construction worker in L.A. The Hammer was conceived by Adam Carolla and writer Kevin Hench. It was directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, and independently produced by Eden Wurmfeld, reuniting the team that created the 2001 independent hit, Kissing Jessica Stein.

MY REVIEW: The Hammer is one of the sweetest and funniest movies I've seen so far this year. It was the last thing I expected from Adam Carolla who came up with the idea for the movie and also stars in it. I never much cared for Carolla's brand of humor, although I remember him having his moments on shows like Loveline, The Man Show and Crank Yankers. He is a likable guy but there was always something about him that put me off.

With The Hammer, Carolla has made something that is completely different and not like any of those shows. It has some great one-liners. Good acting, including Oswaldo Castillo in pretty much his first acting gig playing Jerry's friend Oswaldo. You can tell that Castillo got the part because of Carolla and that they know each other in real life. That's part of the charm of the movie, how low key it seems to be while also packing the punch of a major movie. It looks cheap but it doesn't feel cheap.

Carolla shows a very sweet and romantic side of him that no one has seen before. From trying to get the girl that he likes to go out with him to the scene at the end where you think you know whats going to happen and it does, but its done in a very nice way. Carolla should stick to making movies like this from now on and leave TV behind.

Sadly, there are no DVD features. I'm guessing mostly because it is super indie and it was almost close to just being a straight to DVD movie, which is a shame because its way better than that.

MY CHEESY RATING: The Hammer nails a 7 out of 10.



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