“Kevin Hart & Chris Rock: Headliners Only,” a slick, self-mythologizing piece of Netflix content that follows the two comedians on the recent arena shows they teamed up on, is aimed at comedy fans — even if much of it will be familiar to them. The story of how Eddie Murphy spotted Rock at The Comic Strip (now Comic Strip Live) and offered him a job on the sequel to “Beverly Hills Cop” has been told many times. And any stand-up fan on social media knows that Hart presented a goat to Rock at the end of their recent show at Madison Square Garden (as well as whether or not Dave Chappelle would show up). That doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to watch.
Rock’s disastrous first television stand-up set is shocking even if you’ve seen it. Keith Robinson, a Comedy Cellar regular who mentored Hart when he was known as Lil’ Kev the Bastard, steals the show as a Jedi master for comedians. Directed by Rashidi Natara Harper, the film (which feels more like a commercial than a documentary) works best as a behind the scenes hang with an odd couple. Hart is chatty, constantly narrating his own life, building up this show as a successor to the Kings of Comedy tour. Rock is not just more shy. He looks slightly irritated with the entire production, waving away the cameras, saying the main reason he’s doing it is just to spend time with Hart. At the end, he says you can’t be in the Hall of Fame and still play the game. He’s still playing.
Kevin Hart & Chris Rock: Headliners Only
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 22 minutes. Watch on Netflix.