Wed. Aug 17th, 2022

Teddy’s latest pitch is to his boxing ring boss, Marty, who has kept him on despite the fact the marketing brochures Teddy made don’t mention the address of the gym. Lori thinks her man’s latest idea has merit, which makes me question her common sense. Teddy wants to promote “no-contact” boxing, a cardio workout where people throw punches but no one gets hit. Back in my amateur training days, we called it “shadow boxing,” but what do I know? I’m an old man and woefully out of touch with the ideas of today’s young whippersnappers. Marty is also old—he thinks it’s the dumbest idea he’s ever heard.

Teddy is so incompetent he can’t even do a simple task like planning a special evening for his wife’s birthday. Of course, the high stakes on his current attempt will be made even higher. This brings us to the mistaken identity plot. Thanks to “low toner” in his printer, Teddy misidentifies the address of the cabin he has rented for Lori’s birthday excursion. People say “low toner” so many times in “The Man from Toronto” that a drinking game could be based on it. Unfortunately, Teddy’s mistake leads him to the one cabin in Onancock, Virginia that contains someone The Man From Toronto was supposed to torture. The guys think they hired Teddy. All Hell breaks loose, as expected, when the real deal shows up.

You know what happens next. Through tenets of Roger Ebert’s Idiot Plot theory, TMFT is stuck with Teddy as he maneuvers his way through the hitman story. For reasons I don’t have enough word count to explain, the FBI is also pressuring Teddy to put himself in harm’s way. Meanwhile, the FBI is keeping Lori busy by having her dragged on shopping sprees and spa visits by a sexy male agent she believes is acting on Teddy’s behalf. None of this is remotely believable because the screenplay by Robbie Fox and Chris Bremner consistently has Teddy saying and doing things that no one in his position would be dumb enough to do. Hart is a master of talking his way out of situations, so this should have yielded comic benefits. But not even his stand-up skills can make this dialogue work.

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