Netflix’s buddy-action-comedy film “The Man From Toronto,” featuring Kevin Hurt and Woody Harrelson, directed by Patrick Hughes (known for “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”) is a laugh riot. The trouble begins when a failed salesman is assumed to be an assassin, referred to as ‘the man from Toronto.’ The film introduces the audience to “Teddy Jackson,” a salesman who comes up with bizarre business ideas to become an entrepreneur. Tired of his usual muck up, the people around him coined the term “teddy-ing it up.” Teddy now has only one motto: to not mess up, and he plans the best surprise birthday weekend for his wife, Lori, to prove himself.
The romantic weekend at Onancock turned into a death trap when Teddy mistook a cottage for the one he booked, thanks to the fact that his printer was running out of toner! In an attempt to save his life and not teddy things up, he played along and pretended to be the man from Toronto. But he soon has to confront the assassin himself and thus begins an unexpected journey and the birth of a rather bizarre friendship. Going by the buddy film sub-genre, the polar opposite characters successfully bring humor to the table. The straight-no-nonsense face of the assassin and his motormouth companion, Teddy, form a hilarious pairing. The dialogues are smartly written, and Kevin Hurt delivers them smoothly. The Man from Toronto is nothing short of a myth in the underworld, and Woody Harrelson fits the part. The chemistry between the two actors is remarkable, and that pretty much binds the film together. Even though the characters meet by chance, they influence each other in a way that impacts their lives. The assassin learns to love and laugh, and Teddy realizes that he has to stand up for himself and take charge of his life. The greater problem had to be resolved, but the mission helped them to understand their drawbacks better.
Even though the FBI knew that Teddy Jackson was not the assassin, they tried to take advantage of the situation and employed Teddy to play the part of the man from Toronto. The ex-Venezuelan Colonel, Sebastian Marin, mistook Teddy for the assassin and wanted him to take care of his business. The colonel had attempted to overthrow his own government and was stopped by US intelligence. From then on, he wanted to seek revenge against the US intelligence services and planned to blow up the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington. Trapped between the FBI and the man from Toronto, Teddy had to keep in mind that he had Lori waiting for the perfect dinner, and he could not disappoint her this time. In an attempt to save lives, Teddy risks his marriage, though he desperately hopes to be back, living his life as usual.
The film has nothing serious going on, and it does not aim to be a serious film. It is meant to make you laugh and enjoy some fantastic action sequences, particularly the gym scene towards the end. The long-choreographed fight sequence captures the thrill and panic seamlessly, and it has almost become Patrick Hughes’s signature after “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.” Assassins from various countries come together to attack Teddy and the man from Toronto, making the chase seem never-ending yet entertaining. The story is not out of the box, but it still manages to keep the interest going throughout the runtime. From a black man stealing a cop car joke to the whole mess that was made when Teddy had to identify the real Mr. Green, such moments of priceless humor are worth a mention. It was a Kevin Hart show throughout; he aces the comedy as usual. Woody Harrelson was nothing short of a surprise in this comedy venture, and it was a delight to watch him.
The film also builds on the suspense of who “Debora” is, and she is surely not who you would expect her to be. The film might be back as a sequel since filmmaker Patrick Hughes believes that there is potential for it. He revealed his interest in even creating a cross-over between the two worlds—”The Hitman’s Bodyguard” and “The Man from Toronto,” as discussed in his interview. We can expect further development of the friendship between the mismatched pair and, hopefully, another thrilling adventure that they set out to experience. But what ultimately materializes is what we have to wait and watch.
This buddy-action comedy is impressively captured by cinematographer Rob Hardy and edited by Graig Alpert. The film also features Kaley Cuoco (known for “Big Bang Theory” and “The Fight Attendant”) in a cameo role as Annie.