Jerry Ferro's 40th birthday has brought his life into sharp relief and it's not a pretty picture. A once-promising amateur boxer -- who quit so he wouldn't risk his perfect record of ... See full summary »
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Jerry Ferro's 40th birthday has brought his life into sharp relief and it's not a pretty picture. A once-promising amateur boxer -- who quit so he wouldn't risk his perfect record of underachievement -- Jerry has been knocking around from one construction job to another and spinning his wheels in an unsatisfying relationship, all the while with an eye toward eventually getting his act together. His last connection to the fight game is the evening boxing class he teaches to middle-aged, middle class, middle management types at a gym in Pasadena, where he also works as a handyman. When venerable boxing coach Eddie Bell asks Jerry if he'd like to spar a couple of rounds with Malice Blake, an up-and-coming pro, Jerry reluctantly steps into the ring. Despite the ass-kicking Jerry otherwise receives, a one-punch knockdown of Blake convinces Jerry that it's time to make his return to competitive boxing. Thus ends a 20-year layoff and begins a hilarious fish-out-water quest for Olympic gold. Written by
The film was going to be released straight to DVD until Adam Carolla insisted that the movie be released in theaters and put up approximately $300,000 of his own money for prints and promotion to fund a limited release. See more »
(Possibly deliberate) When Jerry pulls into the gym parking lot and comes to a stop under the street lamp, the truck brake lights do not function. See more »
[opening voice over]
They say you should never let go of your dreams. But if your dream is to be a Mouseketeer, and you're 45, you may want to let that one go. On the other hand, if your dream is to be a Wal-Mart greeter, you can hang on to that baby until like a year after you die. Me? I don't even know what my dream is, but it's all right. I've got time. I won't be turning forty for another...
[alarm clock begins beeping]
Ugh! I just turned forty.
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"The Hammer" starring Adam Carolla is a sentimental and sweet story of reclaiming one's greatness. Directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, "The Hammer" plays like an independent film, mostly because it is. Kevin Hench wrote the screenplay for "The Hammer" from a story by Adam Carolla. Consequently, the movie has an autobiographical feel. Before Carolla became a morning talk-radio star or host of "Loveline" with Dr. Drew, he was a carpenter and boxing instructor. In fact he was Jimmy Kimmel's boxing coach. In "The Hammer" Adam Carolla plays 40 year-old Jerry Ferro, a journeyman carpenter, who works odd construction jobs around Los Angeles County. His good buddy is barely understandable Nicaraguan immigrant Oswaldo (Oswaldo Castillo), and his partner in construction. Jerry also teaches boxing at a local sports club.
One day after being fired from his job, Jerry spars an up and coming professional boxer as a favor. Jerry takes a beating, but drops the fighter with a solid left. This catches the attention of Coach Eddie Bell (Tom Quin). Bell enrolls Jerry into trying out for the Olympic Boxing Team, through regional competition. 20 years ago, Jerry walked away from a shot at the Olympic Team as a promising young amateur. So now at 40 years-old and fired from his job this may be Jerry's last shot. However, it marks the end of his relationship with suffering girlfriend Nicole (Constance Zimmer). Jerry finds out that he is contending for the light-heavyweight spot against young talented Robert Brown (brash Harold House Moore). Robert has a bright career in front of himself, while Jerry struggles to recapture the greatness of his youth. But Jerry is smart and has great heart. Also Bell's intentions are not entirely transparent.
Things begin to look up. Jerry musters up the courage to ask cute and smart Lindsay (sweet and charming Heather Juergensen) from his boxing class to go out on a date. Swamped public defender Lindsay agrees to a "day" date. Jerry and Lindsay spend a hilarious day at the La Brea Tar Pits. Carolla and Juergensen have a hysterical and natural chemistry. A perfect foil to Jerry's smart ass, Lindsay is solid and unflinching. There is a touching and funny scene when Lindsay kisses Jerry good night. She would have sex with Jerry, but Jerry has a big fight coming up and she doesn't want to "deplete" his chi. Their relationship is a touching surprise in "The Hammer".
Okay, "The Hammer" has formulaic "Rocky" charm and predictability. You have the requisite cathartic fight scene. However, it is its quirkiness and engaging natural banter that makes "The Hammer" so bitter sweet and heart felt. Adam Carolla has an easy and natural charm. He is great at embodying the smart ass and gentle soul of Jerry. As Lindsay, Heather Juergensen is the amazing combination of goofy and sexy. As Lindsay she plays it very smart, just flying under the radar. Like Carolla, she has an easy and comfortable presence. Harold House Moore is funny and charismatic as Robert. Moore also brings a refreshing humanity to the role.
"The Hammer" is sentimental, strangely comfortable, and refreshing. We all pull for Adam Carolla's Jerry as he hysterically and courageously reclaims his vestige of greatness. See "The Hammer". You'll be surprised and charmed.
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