The Hammer
Adam Carolla, Heather Juergensen, Oswaldo Castillo
Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
The Weinstein Company 2008
91 minutes

The Hammer is Rocky goes to the Olympic trials with comic moments. Considering this DVD stars Adam Carolla of The Man Show I expected another stupid lowbrow comedy. I was pleasantly surprised as this is an interesting, funny, original boxing movie. It is easy to see why Carolla put some of his money into this low-budget production and worked hard to get The Hammer a theatrical release instead if it just going straight to DVD.

The first few minutes of The Hammer are very misleading as to what kind of movie or comedy this DVD is going to be as it opens with a Man Show style joke (feminine hygiene product as a coffee filter – har har). It quickly rises above that kind of humor. This movie is a mix of mid-life crisis, going for a dream, facing your demons, and finding a new life.

Adam Carolla is Jerry Ferro a former Golden Gloves boxer who just turned forty and whose life is in the crapper. On his fortieth birthday he gets fired from his underachieving job, gets dumped by his girlfriend, and gets noticed by a recruiter for the U.S. Olympic team after he spars with the local gym’s hotshot boxer.

The Hammer telegraphs some of its punches; you know for example the short woman at the gym will end up being Carolla’s love interest. There are however a few plot surprises here and there, some of which play against the viewer’s expectations.

This movie is aware of its Rocky overtones and plays with that with a tip to Eye of the Tiger and to a few scenes in the various Stallone dramas and much like the better Rockys you find yourself cheering for the underdog boxer. It also has a couple of tasteless Man Show moments as if Carolla just could not help himself and these do take away from the quality of this movie.

The Hammer starring Adam Carolla is a solid boxing movie with comic moments.

Special features include the usual commentary track only fans of the star will listen to, deleted scenes and outtakes, and other minor stuff.


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