True story is Netflix’s new limited series starring Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes. Released on the streaming platform on November 24, the series has since reached Netflix’s Top Ten in many countries. Created by Eric Newman, this seven-part series is the kind of thriller where, as you might expect, every situation turns from bad to worse.
Kevin Hart plays Kid, one of the world’s most famous comedians from Philadelphia, who returns to his hometown for a show. In Philadelphia, Kid reunites with his brother Carlton, played by Wesley Snipes. After their night together ends in disaster, things escalate to the worst imaginable. Kid must answer the question of how far he will go to protect what he has.
True story, with all of its twists and turns and cliffhanger endings, is a violent thriller, with a rather predictable plotline, that will get you hooked (especially if you haven’t guessed from the start what the big twist will be – I won’t spoil it here. ). It’s basically a story about two brothers and their strained relationship, ending up in some pretty incredible situations, and a number of dead bodies.
The hour-long first episode features Kid as a famous stand-up comedian, who just starred in a billion dollar superhero movie starring Chris Hemsworth (a handsome cameo). The series shows Kid as always surrounded by his entourage, Hershel (William Catlett), his bodyguard, Billie (Tawny Newsome), his head writer who feels underestimated, and Todd (Paul Adelstein), his manager. The three, and especially Hershel and Todd, are never too far away, making it difficult for Kid to get by on his own. As the episodes go by, it becomes more and more evident that Kid is a difficult boss.
Kid’s older brother, Carlton, is portrayed as an inconvenient presence in Kid’s life. In debt from a bankrupt restaurant, Carlton continues to ask Kid for money to get him out of trouble. Even Todd considers Carlton a troublemaker, advising Kid to let go of him. Wesley Snipes’ great performance – always hinting at an ulterior motive – brings more nuance to this character, presented as always attracting problems. As the first episode suggests, it’s Kid who finds himself in trouble, Carlton trying to help him. It’s Kid who keeps making matters worse, showing himself to do anything to save his career and his future.
Where the series excels is in portraying a difficult sibling relationship. From the start, the series establishes that the two don’t quite love each other, but this undetachable bond means they have to put up with each other. Wesley Snipes is great as a lucky and always struggling older brother, just like Kevin Hart is as a successful little brother, who really only thinks about himself and what benefits him. From the first episode, it becomes clear that they are not good for each other. On their first night together, when Kid has been sober for 6 months, Carlton still encourages his brother to drink. Each uses the other for their own purposes, if there is anything to gain from it. Resentment and jealousy surface, Kid being continually condescending to his older brother and Carlton visibly envious of his little brother’s celebrity status. This complex relationship is made palpable by the great chemistry between the two actors.
True story is a gripping thriller, albeit with a predictable plot. What makes it captivating are the two characters inhabited by Wesley Snipes and Kevin Hart. The series also features excellent supporting roles of Billy Zane, as Greek gangster Ari, and Theo Rossi, as the volatile Kid fan.