The Upside turned an ordinary plot into an extraordinary movie


As my power flickered out in my house and boredom kicked it, I traveled the icy roads to a movie theater nearby. The ice storm raged outside, but I was warm and joyful inside watching The Upside in a comfy, red movie theater seat.

After seeing the previews on TV, I couldn’t help but go see what seemed like a great movie in theaters. When the previews came to an end, I was elated to see what The Upside had in store for me.

The movie’s opening scene is Dell (Kevin Hart) and Phillip (Bryan Cranston) on a high pace police chase on a bustling, busy block in New York City, ending with them getting caught. After, the scene cuts to Dell a few months earlier as he is just released from prison. Dell and Phillip, who is a quadriplegic, meet as Dell is searching for a janitor position, but ends up accepting the high paid job of a life auxiliary for Phillip. At first, Dell seems underqualified for the job, but as the movie progresses and their friendship becomes more valuable, it is evident that there is no better person suited for the job than Dell.

The Upside had a perfect combination of funny and heart-touching scenes. Numerous times, the theater would erupt into laughter, and numerous times, I felt myself laughing along with them. Due to Kevin Hart stealing the role of the main character, there was bound to be a variety of jokes to put a smile on viewers’ faces.

During one scene when Dell and Phillip are out in the city, Phillip orders one too many hot dogs. The scene is both comical and sensitive as you see the connection strengthen between the two characters.

The movie became more than a tragic story of a man whose life has been stripped away due to a disability. ”

Director Neil Burger and producers Jason Blumenthal, Todd Black, and Steve Tisch did a great job taking an ordinary plot and making it extraordinary.  Not only was the film phenomenal, but the acting was as well. Kevin Hart’s jokes were so well placed; I began to wonder if they were even planned at all. Bryan’s older and more sophisticated era complimented Kevin’s light-hearted personality like ice-cream to a brownie. Each actor filled their roles exceptionally well, keeping me traced into the movie.

However, the movie was a bit like Me Before You which came out in 2016. Both movies feature a main character in a wheelchair. Although, Me Before You follows the story of two people falling in love, where The Upside follows two people building a friendship. By steering clear of the movie being a love story, I think the movie was able to become something more than a cliche romance movie.

Overall, the movie became more than a tragic story of a man whose life has been stripped away due to a disability; the movie flowered into a story of love, tears, and laughter all in the span of two hours and five minutes.