The Man from Toronto is an action comedy film directed by Patrick Hughes, who previously worked on The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) and its sequels. The film stars the duo Woody Harrelson and comedian Kevin Hart. This USD 75 million budget film produced by Columbia Pictures has experienced several delays in its theatrical release since 2020 due to the pandemic. Finally, the rights to this film were purchased by Netflix, which was released at the end of last June. With a big budget and two big stars, is this film as good as the previous film?

Teddy (Hart) is a failed YouTuber, but he is still determined to show his wife, Lori, that he is a reliable husband. Teddy surprises Lori’s birthday by staying at a cabin house. While his wife enjoyed the spa facilities, Teddy prepared everything there. Unfortunately, Teddy entered the wrong cabin and mistaken his identity with a legendary interrogator nicknamed The Man from Toronto (Harrelson). The FBI, who ambushed the location, immediately gave a special mission to Teddy to continue his role as the interrogator. Meanwhile, the original “Toronto” (Harrelson) unwittingly watches over Teddy, who is now trapped in a dangerous part that he cannot refuse.

In the early stages, unexpectedly, the story provoked such intense curiosity. The threat felt so real. The contrast between the inpatient and careless Teddy and the cold and intelligent Toronto promises something interesting. Expectations also increase in the process, but the plot’s intensity decreases when the two begin to interact. The tension was lost because of the outrageous, ridiculous humor, which caused the film’s tone less serious. From here, the story begins to be easily anticipated. We know there will be no risk in the story, no matter how big the danger and tough the enemy. Seeing Teddy hanging from the mall’s property at a height was tiring.

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The strength of The Man from Toronto is in the first half, where the rest is only the action side and mediocre jokes and stories that are easily anticipated. Hart and Harrelson can build slick chemistry; it’s just that the jokes (scripts) are sometimes a bit exaggerated. The action is not too bad, and the combination of humor in between often provides entertaining jokes. Only this, nothing more. Perhaps this is why Toronto was not released in theaters because it did not have enough spurs to compete with big films released close together. Compared to The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Toronto is outclassed, but not for its sequel.

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His hobby has been watching films since childhood, and he studied film theory and history autodidactically after graduating from architectural studies. He started writing articles and reviewing films in 2006. Due to his experience, the author was drawn to become a teaching staff at the private Television and Film Academy in Yogyakarta, where he taught Film History, Introduction to Film Art, and Film Theory from 2003 to 2019. His debut film book, "Understanding Film," was published in 2008, which divides film art into narrative and cinematic elements. The second edition of the book, "Understanding Film," was published in 2018. This book has become a favorite reference for film and communication academics throughout Indonesia. He was also involved in writing the Montase Film Bulletin Compilation Book Vol. 1-3 and "30 Best Selling Indonesian Films 2012-2018." Additionally, he authored the "Horror Film Book: From Caligari to Hereditary" (2023) and "Indonesian Horror Film: Rising from the Grave" (2023). Until now, he continues to write reviews of the latest films at and is actively involved in all film productions at the Montase Film Community. His short films have received high appreciation at many festivals, both local and international. Recently, his writing was included in the shortlist (top 15) of Best Film Criticism at the 2022 Indonesian Film Festival. From 2022 until now, he has also been a practitioner-lecturer for the Film Criticism and Film Theory courses at the Yogyakarta Indonesian Institute of the Arts in the Independent Practitioner Program.


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