Starring: Adam Carolla, Oswaldo Castillo, Heather Jurgenson
Directed by: Charles Herman Wurmfeld
Rated: R for brief language
Movie Released: 2008
One of the most downloaded podcasts on itunes is The Adam Carolla Show. The Aceman, who made his living as a one time carpenter before becoming a stand up comedian, Loveline and The Man Show host and eventually pursued a career in radio has found his way into becoming one of the most downloaded episodic shows on the net. But Carolla still wanders out from behind the mic on occasion and pens and stars in in his own flick.
The Hammer is the story of a 40 year old carpenter who has never seen anything through to the end. Always stopping short of following his dreams, he’s now hitting the mid life crisis he has always heard about. With a girlfriend that left him, and a job he hates, Jerry Ferro decides at a whim to take a chance and return to the sport he loves, boxing. Discovered by an amateur boxing coach who convinces him that he may have what it takes to become an Olympic athlete even at the ripe old age of 40, Ferro begins a quest to fulfill the dream he’s always wanted; and returns to the ring as Jerry “The Hammer” Ferro.
I actually expected The Hammer to be a terrible, low budget piece of garbage that had no heart, no story and thrived of raunchy humor and not much more. What I was surprised to find was a film that actually was much of the opposite. Carolla sat down and penned a movie that really was quite charming and was quite entertaining. Carolla found a way of surrounding down on his luck, loser Ferro with a cast of characters and situations that work well together and didn’t resort to the raunchy humor to enhance the plot. Instead he sticks to the tried and true slapstick comedy, mixed in with hints of his stand up bits in this romantic “boxing” comedy.
Carolla does an overall good job in the role of Ferro, but then again who is really surprised that Carolla could play a wise cracking, slacker carpenter; After all it was kind of his day job for quite some time. He surrounds himself with a Nicaraguan immigrant best friend named Ozzy who is the Pedro to Carolla’s Napoleon Dynamite. Ozzy became one of my favorite parts of the film even though he is usually only there to set up some sort of comedic rant by Carolla. Even Carolla’s boxing buddies do a good job working with what they’ve got, however there isn’t really much to work with in these cookie-cutter characters that Carolla has created.
However, I can easily see someone hating this film as well. If you’re not a fan of Adam Carolla, as a comedian, then The Hammer simply isn’t going to be for you. His comedic spirit is heavy handed in this film, and you find yourself either chuckling or scratching your head as Carolla’s character breaks into rants about toggle bolts, immigrants, and bad driving. In fact there are times in this film where you stop wondering why Ferro is 40 and single- after all he does tend to rant about the things that are wrong with any given scenario.
However, in the end I found The Hammer to be a lot of fun. Carolla hasn’t penned the next Godfather, but he found himself involved with an indie flick that few have heard of that was a charming little number. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh but don’t know where to turn, I’d have no problems suggesting The Hammer as an option. Pop some popcorn and put in the dvd player. I think you’ll be glad you did.