The Hammer

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Jerry: 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 goes off]
Jerry: Ugh. I just turned 40...

The Hammer is a 2007 comedy written by and starring Adam Carolla, and probably the funniest movie you've never seen.

Carolla stars as Jerry Ferro, a very quick-witted Deadpan Snarker who hasn't done one whole hell of a lot with his forty years so far. When he and his buddy Ozzie get themselves fired from their jobs as carpenters, Jerry heads to the gym where he teaches boxing lessons to take out his frustrations in the ring. After Jerry shoots his mouth off and gets into an unwanted sparring match, a wizened old coach named Eddie takes notice of his hard-hitting left hook (which, despite his former trade, is what really earned him the nickname "The Hammer" during his younger days as a Golden Gloves boxer) and offers him the chance to compete for a shot on the U.S. Olympic Boxing team. All told, it's a pretty good success story in the making.

Too bad for Jerry, not all has been told: Coach Eddie is actually using Jerry as a means of getting some free training for his favored contender, a grumpy but talented up-and-comer named Robert who butts heads with Jerry while preparing for his shot at the gold. Jerry, however, is having none of that, and decides that he's taking his shot, too. Along the way, he gets support from his buddy Ozzie and from his new love interest Lindsey, a good-hearted public defender and one of Jerry's students at the gym. With their help, he's going for one last chance at greatness.

The movie sort of came and went in its limited theatrical run, but it's found a small but loyal fanbase thanks to its abundance of great, snappy dialouge and humor that, highly unusual for an R-rated comedy these days, doesn't rely too heavily on Dead Baby Comedy or dangling onscreen penises to get its laughs.

Tropes used in The Hammer include:

Robert: I bet you wouldn't give this shot to a 40-year-old black man!
Jerry: Yeah, coach, when is the black man finally gonna get a fair shake in the fight game, huh?

  • Author Avatar: Carolla is also a former carpenter who boxed in his youth. Up until he made it big in radio, he was also something of an underachiever.
  • Bad Boss: Mike, the foreman. Jerry is canned when he finally gets fed up with Mike's verbal abuse and smashes the windshield on his truck.
  • Brick Joke: "Who hangs a heavy bag with toggle bolts?"
  • The Danza: Oswaldo Sanchez is played by Adam Carolla's real life friend Oswaldo Castillo. The character is basically a fictionalized version of himself.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Much like the guy who plays him, Jerry is an expert smart-ass.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Jerry doesn't take it well when he finds out that Coach Eddie has been stringing him along, with no intention of taking him to the Olympic tryouts. Then Lindsey takes a job in Seattle.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Jerry pounds down a sixer of beer while looking over a newspaper scrapbook detailing the highlights of his Golden Gloves career, with the headlines increasingly reflecting his self-pity as he gets drunker, ("Ferro Girlfriend Dumps Quitter," "Ferro Loses Another Job," etc.) finally ending with a headline declaring "Ferro Drunk, Needs to Pee." Jerry drinks Tecate because it's one of the few brands that will allow films to show excessive drinking as part of a Product Placement.
  • Heterosexual Life Partner: Jerry and Ozzie, much like Adam and Ozzie in spite of their language barrier.
  • Insult Backfire: "I'd kick your ass, but calling me 'middle class' is about the nicest thing anybody's ever said to me!"
  • Moment Killer: Jerry is in the process of asking Lindsey on a date when Ozzie blurts out that he just got dumped a few days earlier.

Jerry: You may not know this, Ozzie, but chicks don't usually dig it when they find out someone just got dumped.
Ozzie: But it's true!
Jerry: It's also true that I have a hairy ass, but I don't weave it into every conversation that I have.

  • Not What It Looks Like: What do you do when your gloves are already taped up and you've gotta take a leak? You set up probably the bluest joke in the movie. Ozzie is one hell of a good friend, man.
  • Politically-Incorrect Villain: Mike isn't just a jerk, but he's also quite racist towards Ozzie.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Jerry rarely speaks outside of it.
  • Scary Black Man: Amateur boxer Darius Reece was one of the toughest fighters around five years ago. What's he been doing for the last five years? He's been doing five years.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Building a surprise deck for your girlfriend is sweet, but first you should probably make sure she's not a renter.
    • He got a break on the lumber, though, so it's not all bad.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: "Mike, somebody threw a belt sander through your windshield."
  • Training Montage: Subverted for laughs - The montage is mostly of Jerry hitting the Snooze button on his alarm clock.