Sunday, 31 July 2016
Starring the vocal talents of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'neil, Hayden Rolence, Kaitlen Olson, Ty Burrell, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy and Edris Elba. Written by Andrew Stanton and Victoria Strouse. Directed by Andrew Stanton. Running time 97 minutes. Budget $200 million.
Set one year after the traumatic events of Finding Nemo this sequel finds Ellen DeGeneres' short-term-memory-loss-suffering Dory taking centre stage and as she tries to cope with traumatic nam-flashbacks to her childhood by setting out on her own quest to travel the ocean in search of her lost parents. Dragging along Nemo and his father Marlin for the ride and meeting up with a whole new cast of fishy friends, including an octopus by the name of Hank, voiced by Ed O'neil, a chronically short-sighted whale-shark by the name of Destiny, a concussion suffering beluga whale and a couple of hilarious sealions voiced by Edris Elba and Dominic West.
This is a fun film from Pixar, but not a classic. For a while the film feels in danger of drowning in its own self importance as it deals with Dory's disability and its ramifications. Luckily late in the proceedings Pixar seem to remember they're making an animated movie and ratchets up the mad-cap comedy leading to a truly bat-shit crazy, fish-out-of-water sequence in the third act involving a police car chase, a heist and a prison break, of sorts. Also for a large portion of this film the action takes place in murky, dingy pipes or gloomy sunken wrecks rather than the glorious colours of the pacific ocean which seems like a mistake. That said, Hank is an astonishing achievement in CGI animation and for him alone this movie is worth seeing, I can't help thinking we're going to be seeing more of him.
And while this film is nowhere near as good as the original Finding Nemo, at least it's not as despicable as either of the two Cars movies, or the terrible Monsters University. Oddly enough though the audience of kids I saw this with weren't shrieking with laughter that much and my two munkins only marked it a 7/10 - 8/10 depending on their ages.
I quite liked it, but only the second half, once the action and silliness kicked in, and for a while I was in danger of falling into the deep end of my rage, but managed somehow to ride it out. The credits are worth sitting through as is the post credit sequence that brings back even more old friends.
Doubt I'll watch it again, or ever own it on DVD, but as half term entertainment goes, this was a thoroughly entertaining and funny adventure.
The traditional pre-film short won't disappoint, short and silent, it's a technological truimph and sweet too.
Starring Matt Damon,Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles and Riz Ahmed. Written by Baron Silas Greenback and Christopher Rouse. Directed by Baron Silas Greenback. Running time 120 minutes and $123 million budget.
Bourne, now amnesia free, is making his living traveling the Baltic states taking part in bare-knuckle fight bouts, his technique varies between one punch take-downs and standing there letting his face be used as a punching bag until his opponent collapses from exhaustion. He's older, grey at the temples but still an utter bad ass. Meanwhile, angry, pouting Julia Stiles breaks into the CIA computer and downloads the list of utra-top-secret, 'off the book', black-op, wet works, covert missions. You know like, Treadstone, Blackbriar and Outcome to which we can now add Iron Spanks and Sausage Factory.
The CIA react quickly by letting its rising star, 13-year old Alicia Vikander take control of the situation and bug Stile's memory stick, for her own nefarious purpose. Her boss, old and craggy-faced Tommy Lee Jones, who joins a long list of other old and craggy-faced actors to play her boss, CIA Director Dewey Decimal System. He's working behind the scenes for his own nefarious purposes. He announces that Jason Bored is behind it all and unleashes his 'asset', Vincent Cassel to angrily travel the world killing everyone who stands in his way of killing Jason Bored, for his own nefarious purposes.
Stiles tracks down Bored at another bare-knuckle fight and tells him that she's uncovered something really important about Bored's dad, but rather than tell him in, you know, words she's dropping massive cryptic hints and tapping her nose while winking dramatically at the camera and nodding slowly with her mouth open wide.
Bored, perhaps because of the massive head trauma he's just suffered in his fights, decides to investigate by riding his motorcycle really fast through the middle of a Greek riot and frowning very hard. Still lacking the requisite motivation, Stiles dies in front of him and Bored finally gets it and embarks on a globe trotting adventure towards the showdown with the big baddy, Ol' Craggy Face and thereby discover the latest secret about his past that this whole tired adventure has unlocked. You know, the big secret about his daddy and who killed him. Perhaps daddy wasn't the victim of a terrorist bomb, conveniently exploded just after he'd told his son something really, really important about, you know, that thing. He too avoids using words opting for half-finished sentences, just so we don't get guess the truth too soon, but we do.
Apparently in the next film, there's a big secret about his mum, and in the film after that there's one about his second-cousin Vinnie and his best-friend's sister's neighbour.
Anyway, because the actual secret and Bored's tired trudge towards understanding it is incredibly slight and rather un-involving there's another plot that's sort of dropped like a huge dollop of cold porridge onto the proceedings that hint at another big secret thingie involving something called Deep Dream that isn't Facebook and its billionaire tech-genius inventor, Riz Ahmed and Ol' Craggy face.
All that's left now is for all these broken ends to be glued together at the big, dramatic show-down finale and Bored and Vince can have that huge mano-a-mano fight before Moby's 'Extreme Ways' can spew it's vile electronic 'wee-wah' shriek into our ears and the credits can run and we can all go home, bored by yet another dull, dreary summer dull-buster.
But enough of the plot. What about the film, you're begging.
It's awful and utterly unwatchable.
And it's unwatchable because there isn't a single moment in this film when the fucking camera doesn't just sit still without shaking all over the place. Shake, shake, shake. Even when Bored is just sat on a train reading something. "shake that fucking camera!" Greenback whispers to the camera man, while stroking his white caterpillar, "I'm not paying you to stand still! SHAKE IT!" And so shake it he does, while he waits for Danger Mouse to save him. He shakes it in every scene, the quiet ones, the action ones, the important plot-heavy ones, the car chase ones, indeed every single fucking one. And boy is it distracting. Indeed so distracting is it that rather than make us feel we're right in the middle of the action we are actually yanked right out of the moment and reminded we're sat in a cinema watching a film. A really good film will make you forget you're sat in a cinema. You'll become utterly engrossed by it. Clearly Greenback hates this idea because he does every single thing he can think of to remind you - that you are sat in a cinema for each and every minute of this film's 120 minute running time.
So disorientating is his shaky-cam that each single fight scene, car-chase and action beat is rendered unwatchable and the only way you can work out the outcome is to wait until it's ended and you can see who's still standing. Greenback gets round this rather cleverly by having all of the action sequences narrated by the CIA command centre just so we know what's going on. Thank god for that.
This is one of those films where we, the audience, have to play catch up. Everybody in the film knows what's going on and they're making sure not to tell anyone until the end. Which is unlike the vastly superior Bond films where we know what the villains are up to and then we watch Bond uncover the truth. In the Bored films we have to wait for the penny to drop for Bored before we can understand the big secret thingie that's been hinted at for the entire film.
I have to say, I loved the first Bored film, thought it was great fun and a nice twist on the whole secret agent genre. But as this series has gone on they've just become more and more unwatchable. And yet so many critics will tell you how immersive and exciting these films are, they're hail Greenback as the greatest of all action directors, they hold the Bored films up as examples of how dreadful the Bond films are.
Well, if we're talking truths here's one. Greenback is the living embodiment of the Emperor's New Clothes. His camera tricks are dreadful, they've influenced a whole generation of lesser directors to pollute a generation's worth of action films, to render them unwatchable. Please Hollywood, just stop it now. It's as tired as the Nolan's Booms. Action films are not fly-on-the-documentaries, i won't feel as if I'm in the middle of the action if you're shaking the camera, I'll just feel motion sick.
So disorientating was the final car chase in this piece of shit film that I just closed my eyes and listened to it. I recommend you try it too. Don't worry you won't miss anything. Just listen to the sound effects, the repetitive crunch, crash, bang, shreik, you'll get the idea.
This is another one of those dreary, Hollywood sequels that promises so much and delivers so little. It's a loud, bombastic, shouty, shaky, shit-fest of tedious banality. If it wasn't for the fact that Matt Damon is so likeable this would be a total trainwreck of a movie. As it is, it's just another perfect example of all that is wrong with the modern Hollywood dull-buster. All style over content.
FINAL. SPOILER ALERT. TWENTY QUESTIONS THIS FILM RAISES THAT AREN'T ANSWERED.*
PLEASE DON'T READ THESE IF YOU'VE NOT SEEN THE FILM.
Here are some niggling little questions the film leaves you with.
1. How is Bored able to travel the world on CIA issued passports without being stopped?
2. How come in the middle of a riot so bad, the Greek government issue a 'state emergency' are all the roads and streets in Athens empty so that Bored and Vince can have a car chase?
3. How is Vince able to run up 5 minutes of vertical staircases carrying a sniper rifle without being out of breathe or perspiring slightly?
4. How is the murder of four CIA agents in London Paddington not major news? They are killed in the street and their bodies just left there in broad daylight?
5. Why doesn't Stiles work out that the Asset killed her men in London? If she does why doesn't she do anything about it?
6. Following the disastrous CIA sanctioned mission in London, why isn't Ol' Craggy Face questioned, why isn't Stiles arrested? Why is nothing done?
7. Why does the Berlin based CIA rapid response unit leave both of their cars unguarded?
8. How is Bored able to walk away from the serious amount of head trauma he suffers? In one scene he suffers a motor bike crash with no helmet. In another he smacks his head on a wall and falls at least three stories. In another he's pistol whipped and struck across the head by a dumbell. And he lets another fighter use his head as a punching bag. And yet he never sufferes a single bout of concussion. I thought the Bored films were supposed to be 'real'?
9.Why do the Las Vegas police only issue a APB for the stolen Dodge Charger that Bored takes and not the SWAT van that Vince steals?
10. What about the simply shocking collateral damage that's suffered on the streets of Las Vegas, where were all the other police cars?
11. Why, when Vince is identified as the 'asset' in Las Vegas and he's just killed another Secret Agent, isn't his photo passed to every law enforcement officer?
12. How come there isn't a CIA guard detail on Ol' Craggy Face's suite?
13. Where are all the Las Vegas police men when the assassination attempt goes wrong in the packed auditorium?
14. How is it that by simply wearing a baseball cap you can avoid any detection at Las Vegas security check points? And how is it that suddenly your baseball cap no longer offers you cart-Blanche security invisibility when it's needed?
15. How is Bored able to survive a gun shot to the stomach with no blood loss or any serious injury? Also how is he able to survive an protracted car chase and crash, followed by a lengthy brutal MMA fight in a sewer while shot in the gut?
16. Why don't the Las Vegas police deptarment chase Bored and Vince into the sewer after their car chase has ended?
17. How is Ol' Craggy Face's death not huge news, he's killed in Las Vegas for pity sake!
18. How come Bored's stolen Dodge Charger's driver air bags don't deploy when he's involved in a head on crash?
19. How is Bored able to just turn up in the middle of Washington and not be caught? And how is Bored able to bug the conversation that Stiles has with her boss in a car traveling in front of him?
20. How and why is Baron Silas Greenback still considered to be such a great director when all of his films induce motion sickness?
*FEEL FREE TO SEND ME YOUR OBSERVATIONS AND I'LL ADD THEM TO THE LIST.
Saturday, 23 July 2016
Starring: John Cho, Simon Pegg, Sofia Boutella Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba.
Written by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, directed by Justin Lin. Budget $185 million. Running time 122 minutes.
Three years into its five year mission the USS Enterprise arrives at the Federation's most distant outpost- the visually stunning Yorktown station which sits beside a huge, unexplored nebula. The station is planet size and filled with millions of well dressed Federation civilians whose jobs seem to be milling around or walking. But before Chris Pine's Kirk can accept a promotion to Rear Admiral and Zachary Quinto's Spock can resign to pursue other interests the Federation's seemingly only functioning spaceship, Enterprise, is called upon to rescue a crew of bobbly-headed aliens who have crashed landed somewhere inside the unexplored Nebula having been attacked by another new, very angry, lumpy-headed race of space aliens.
Throwing caution to the solar winds the Enterprise navigates the fore-mentioned 'unexplored' nebula, finds an unknown planet and gets totally owned by a vast cloud of attack spaceships which leaves the iconic spaceship literally dismembered and scattered upon the planet's surface along with its crew who are promptly captured by the baddies. Except, that is, for the core members of the ship, Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Bones and Chekov who all manage to evade the baddies lead by Idris Elba's Krall and reunite to rescue their buddies from Krall who it turns out to be some sort of energy vampire. Sadly Uhru and Sulu are captured, which turns out to be a blessing cos that way we get to find out what Krall is up to as the story peels away his crusty exterior to reveal his nefarious plans. Meanwhile, Scotty is rescued by visually striking alien shipwreck survivor, Jaylah (Sofia Boutella), Bones and Spock bond and declare their admiration for each other and poor Kirk and Chekov plot and brood, and an old, long-lost USS Federation spaceship is discovered.
So far, so the trailer...
But after this big build up the story proper can begin and what a fun, exciting story it is. Feeling a lot like the original series, all action, bluster and punch ups alongside discussions about humanity and its finest values - unity, love and shit like that. The villains lead by Idris's Krall not only speak English, but seem to have a major bee in their collective bonnets for the Federation and have luckily just finished building a mysterious weapon with unbelievable destructive power. But why..?
It's a great fun movie, which works because it's a new story, with new characters and not another attempt to retool old story plots. The cast seem much more relaxed in their roles and far less show-offy. This is an ensemble movie with each of the iconic crew taking turns to be stage-centre. Credit must go to Pegg as one of the two writers who injects a massive, much need jolt of humour to proceedings. The script buzzes with enthusiasm and love for the subject matter.
It's a delight to report that this completely erases the vileness of the last Star Trek outing and means I can happily watch this and the first one back-to-back and have a satisfying four hour movie marathon!
It doesn't get everything right, the tedious obsession with frantic camera shakes and fast editing in the fight scenes make most of those unwatchable, some of the cgi is a tad ropey and the utter, callous disregard for the death of, what must be, much loved members of the Enterprise's crew by Kirk and others is bizarre. And plot wise, you have to ignore the fact that the Yorktown station is so big and has so many civs living there, but at least, thank god, the plot isn't yet another Earth-bound, destruction plot. No, this time, it's an Earth-like, planet-like destruction plot.
And finally, the only crew member of this film who gets short thrift is the good old Enterprise herself. The old films gave you a sense of the ship and its layout, we recognised the corridors and the Jefferson Tubes, the turbo lifts and the route, sort of, to the sick bay. Plus there was a sense that the old Kirk loved his ship, but in this film there's no sense of geography to it nor a sense it's much loved. It's just a series of corridors and before we know it, it's destroyed - again! Jeez, just how many times has this new Enterprise been destroyed? Three times isn't it? Wasn't it Oscar Wilde who said, "To lose one Intergactic Federation starship may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness, but three! THREE! Now you're just taking the piss!" Good old Oscar Wilde.
Anyway, this is still a satisfying, entertaining and enjoyable sci-fi romp which must rank as the easily the 2nd best film of this year's glut of medicore summer blockbusters. 8/10.
Sunday, 17 July 2016
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.
Written by Ed Solomon. Directed by Jon M. Chu. Budget, $90 million, 129 minutes running time.
This is a dreadful, awful, stupid, bloated piece of shit. An unwanted sequel to a terrible movie which claimed to be all about magic.
With a story so convoluted and shit I can't be arsed to explain it, with dreadful performances, awful dialogue and some of the shittest CGI effects you've seen in ages. Seriously this is a piss awful piece of excrement. The story is complicated and convoluted, indeed the actors don't seem to know what the fuck's going on and they've read the script.
Coming across as a wannabe Ocean's 11 this hairy ball bag of a movie sees the Four Horse Men one year after the tedium of the last effort waiting patiently for the unseen Eye (the organisation behind the scene) to do something with them. But all it does is keep them dangling for no apparent reason. Meanwhile, Ruffallo's world class magician character moonlights as a FBI agent in charge with arresting the Four Horsemen for something they've done. And Morgan's character who got jailed at the end of the last film for killing Ruffallo's character's dad threatens revenge and Michael Caines' stupidly rich character who got shafted last time for being a baddy seeks revenge too, and Daniel Radcliffe's character, who's the bastard son of Caine's character also wants revenge because of what the Horsemen did to his dad and a macguffin is dragged into the proceedings that the Horsemen need to steal or else...
Or else what? I don't know, indeed I frankly don't care.
Bollocks, pure and simple. Piss poor, lazy, lacking in anything entertaining, using fake tricks all achieved with bad CGI and a plot so convoluted that when it's finally revealed what's just happened you just don't give one fuck.
Just don't bother, really, just don't. This is shit with a capital everything. All the characters are wankers, they all deserve to die in ditches or in a safe dropped to the bottom of the sea. I hate them all. I hate the twats that wrote this shit. I hate the director. This is ugly, lazy, bloated, stupid CGI crammed crap. With not one single thing to recommend it. Seriously shit.
Trying hard to say one nice thing about it but I can't. Jessie Eisenberg is woeful, even the usually good for value Woody Harleson is bad in this. And Caine, Caine, Caine, Caine. You deserve better than this, he even employs a stunt double to enter a car. Franco has a face you want to punch and token female character replacing thingie from the first film is just grating.
God, and how many times are they going to use the "3,2,1 - you're hypnotised' gag in this film, every other character gets hypnotised. Oh and the playing cards, flung with abandon every other scene.
I would rather watch Grimsby again than watch this shit.
JUST FUCKING STOP PLEASE, YOU UTTER WANKERS.
Starring Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou and Jim Broadbent. Written by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, directed by David Yates. Running time 110 minutes, budget $180 million.
It's not Tarzan, it's John. John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke. The rugged, brooding English nobleman suffering nam-like flash backs to his jungle upbringing at the hands of a tribe of huge angry apes, who aren't like the usual gentle, forest gorillas made famous by Dian Fosey, but great big strapping CGI creations who were all very, very angry.
Every animal in this movie is a paid up member of the uncanny valley CGI safari-park menagerie. For rest assured when the disclaimer at the end of the film reads: 'no animal was harmed in the making of this movie' they ain't lying. The nearest a real-life animal gets seen in this film is when Tarzan catches and eats Jane's favourite Chihuahua.
The film sees Tarzan, sorry John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, back home in Blighty living with the love of his life, Jane Porter Clayton in what looks like the British Museum - built in the middle of a stupidly foggy Buckinghamshire. Together John and Jane fill their time entertaining the extremely ugly local mothers and their children with tales of John's daring do in the dark Continent. That is when John isn't sifting through a trunk of old mementos that trigger the aforementioned flashbacks and we get his origin story portioned out in bite-size chunks.
Meanwhile evil Belgium buisness man, Captain Léon Auguste Théophile Rom (Christoph Waltz) has done a deal with Djimon Hounsou's Chief Mbonga to get his hands on the diamond rich region Mbonga controls. Leon needs the diamonds to finance King Leopold II Congo campaign and Chief Mbonga needs Tarzan for something that happened back in the flashbacks. So Rom invites John Clayton to Africa to capture him, and despite being asked to go on behalf of the British Empire by Jim Broadbent's Prime Minister, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury John refuses. He's got some serious brooding to do.
Step in Samuel Jackson's George Washington Williams sent on a mission by President Benjamin Harrison to discover what is happening in Rom's Congo. He manages to convince John to go with him, and naturally, Jane goes too, cos otherwise who else would Tarzan, sorry John, have to rescue should Jane, god-forbid, be - let's say kidnapped by Rom as a lure to capture John, sorry Tarzan.
As soon as our band of plucky heroes, John, George and Jane land in Africa and make friends with a tribe of CGI lions and African natives, Leon kidnaps Jane and John has to rediscover his inner Tarzan to save her, along the way re-igniting his love of Africa and unleashing the beast within.
Cue a Sunday afternoon jog across Africa, some truly terrible CGI vine swinging, a terrific fight on a moving train, the showdown between Mbonga and Tarzjon before the third act, final showdown utterly revealed in the trailer.
Actually up until that part in the trailer, when the vast herd of CGI wilderbeast lay waste to a town and a boat explodes and Tarzan swings in on a crane hook, the film hasn't been that bad, okay it's not fantastic, it's a bit ploddy, Tarzan spends the entire movie having the shit kicked out of him by everyone and everything and some of the cgi action sequences are pretty shit particulary the vine-swinging bits that sees the vines operate on the same principle as the Spider-Man's webbing.
Alexander Skarsgård makes a great Tarzan and Margot Robbie makes the best Jane since Bo Derek, although how her thin, cheese cloth cotton manages not to become transparent when utterly soaking is an insult!
Overall, this is a well mounted movie, a solid, 'adult' attempt to bring Tarzan into the 21st Century. Yates and co desperately try to make Tarzan relevant and make him work in the real world. They do this by seeding the story with actual real life characters, like Samuel L. Jackson's George Washington, the Prime Minister of Great Britian, and Christoph's Leon Rom. And they do this by making Jane a sassy, fiesty, fighty heroine more than able to handle herself, while at the same time spending most of the film as, in her own words, 'a damsel in distress.'
Sadly though, this attempt to make him relevant is part of the problem, rather than just embrace Tarzan in all his pulpy glory this move to make him real somehow dilutes the character robbing him of his incredible power and it's a shame the film makers didn't just treat him like Indiana Jones and just run with it.
This is an entertaining and at times exciting film with some great sequences which is ultimately stymied by the need to make it real and relevant. Hopefully we'll get to see more Tarzan movies with more emphasis on Tarzan and less on John Clayton III.
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Charles Dance, Chris Hemsworth. Cameos Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts.
Written by Katie Dippold and Paul Feig. Directed by Paul Feig. Running time 116 minutes long. Budget $144 million.
So, it's 2016 and time for another reboot of a much loved movie from those ancient times before mobile phones, the internet (as we know it) and CGI special effects. Using the blueprint of the first film as its template but doing away with anything that resembles a believable world or any semblance of semi-realistic rules, the plot just trundles along ignoring anything that gets in the way that might need some explaining and ditching plot development or well rounded characters with a series of, what seems at times, improvised sketches built round the idea of a group of women who get together to bust ghosts.
One of the wonderful things about the 21st Century is the empowerment of female characters, characters who don't need men to define their characters, strong action orientated women whose roles would once have been played by men. Oddly in this case it's absolutely true as our four superb female actresses replace the films original cast of men, taking the concept one step further by having a male receptionist while the first film had a female one. And to make it even funnier not only is the token male ghostbuster, a hunking beefcake in the guise of Chris Hemsworth, he's also as stupid as he is Australian so strong is his racial and sexual stereotyping. But he's not alone, all of the male characters are stupid which is how it should be in this glorious new century! All men are stupid and all women are awesome, all hail our new female overlords.
Anyway, the film, or the plot - someone is activating devices that unleash ghosts to trigger a doorway so that he can trigger the fourth Cataclysm and only four women and their nuclear powered proton backpacks and their hunky himbo/secretary can save the day.
Good special effects, some funny moments, a great cast of women and a healthy assortment of cameos, including nearly all of the original movie's cast. This isn't a terrible film, it's moderately funny and entertaing, although it is also hamstrung by the fact it's set in a world that is just there to hang the movie on, there's no internal logic in this film, no sense of rules, things happen to propel the plot.
The film's main failing is that it's not a stand alone, it finishes with one final scene right at the end of the 10 minute credits which sets up the sequel, what a shame it couldn't just end as a standalone. It's second failing is that it's a complete retread of the original, offering nothing new, but the cast is so much fun you sort of hope there is a second film just to see this talented cast of female comedians do something original. You'll also have to ignore the plot holes and the contrivances which threaten to stink out the film but don't quite.
You won't cry, but neither will you laugh that much, you won't hate it but you won't love it either, it's a fun night out but nothing else. It's not nearly as bad as you think it's going to be, which I think sort of helps the film along.
Starring Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. Written by Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen and Rawson Marshall Thurber. Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. Running time: 107 minutes. Budget $50 million.
My big mistake in writing this review is that I saw this film the weekend before last and I seriously can't remember a great deal about it. Dwayne Johnson is a CIA agent who was once a fat, bullied kid in high school and Kevin Hart was once the most popular boy in school who was crowned, 'most likely to succeed' and marries his high school sweet heart, who now finds himself in a deadend job with no hope for his future. Back in the day, Hart rescued Johnson from humiliation in front of the whole school and so now 20 years later on the eve of the class reunion their paths cross again as Dwayne looks for a double agent and the CIA try to kill them both.
Clue not much hilarity. Hart is irratating, Johnson, usually so charismatic just comes across as a creepy uber-stalker. What follows is a slow 107 plod building to the ending you saw coming after the first scene. Hart shreiks and Johnson does this strange smirk. There's some mild non-blood shoot-outs, some WWF violence and funny torture scenes, cos you know, CIA sponsored torture is funny. Just ask the inmates of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre.
When a film's funniest moments are the out-takes seen at the end of the film while the credits run you know it's been a pretty mediocre dirge.
Nothing really to see, so move along sir.
That said, this film has one of the best poster strap lines I've seen in ages.