Red Notice (2021)

Rating 12a
Length 1h58
Release 12.11.2021
Director Rawson Marshall Thurber (fun fact: He’s the Quiznos guy from Easy A)
About In the world of international crime, an Interpol agent attempts to hunt down and capture the world’s most wanted art thief.
Moon: Full moon sighted as Reynold’s character goes home.
Where to Watch: Netflix
Trailer:

The Good

  • It’s a pretty solid story. Not that I cared, at all. Why? Oh, I was here for the Johnson/ Reynolds dialogue. They understood the mission. Their interactions were *chef’s kiss* perfect.
    I don’t quite know what it is about these two together, but they’re dynamite. The only pairing I’d want more is Reynolds and Jackman and with both, I could have had them sitting, in a room, just reading the lines. Yes, it would be fair to say it really is down to Reynolds’ delivery of a lot of the lines, but if you’ve seen the latest in the Hitman’s Bodyguard series, you’d know that it’s more than that.
  • That said, there are some amazing action sequences, location shoots and excuses to dress up. It’s The Mummy meets Bond, by way of Danny Ocean. Its perfect for a Saturday night watch when you don’t want to think too hard.

The Bad

  • Cal Gadot almost gets there. There’s crazy in the performance, but the actress pulls it back and I really wish she didn’t. Gadot could have given us something shy of Harley Quinn and I know I’m splitting hairs, but in a film as good as this, I do have to critique something.

The Ugly

  • Green light the sequel already, you cowards!

Final Thoughts

Had everything I really needed in a movie like this, so there’s really nothing to complain about. Only thing is, this review is a little redundant as it would appear that most people have already watched Red Notice this weekend.

The Change-Up (2011)

Rating 15
Length 1h52
Release 16.09.2011
Director David Dobkin
About Best friends Dave, a married lawyer, and Mitch, a playboy, envy each other’s lives. Hilarity ensues when their bodies get swapped, and they realise their lives are not as great as they had imagined.
Moon: not sighted
Where to Watch: Netflix
Trailer:

The Good

  • Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman are pretty decent in this body-switch. Reynolds does seem to be able to handle both characters a little better, but Bateman equally works well when he’s acting in scenes with Reynolds. You could also argue that his character is trying to represent Dave.
  • The supporting cast, particularly Alan Arkin, Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde is great.

The Bad

  • The whole thing with getting Mitch, who is really Dave, to go on a date with Sabrina… but for her to end up with Mitch post switch-back. Like, the film makes it go really well. They almost seal the deal. What I’d really want is for Dave to realise they’re not compatible. Right? It’s not like Dave was pretending to be Mitch, he was totally being himself so I don’t get it.
  • The nudity, to me at least, is the one thing that’s keeping this film from being a 12a and, lets face it, a body-swap is 12a or lower territory, the family lesson learned… it all lends itself to a lower rating, and a better film. Am I a woman of a certain age a bit pissed of all these perky breasts on my screen?! Well, mine have never been perky, so perhaps?! That said, it is still gratuitous and it doesn’t add to the film. (I mean, come on… we can ALL do with one less slow-mo walk to Sweet Cherry Pie in our lives, right?!)

The Ugly

  • The CGI babies. They’re not quite at the level of Twilight’s abomination, however, that CGI chocolate starfish is a hard pass! Then there’s the mid-film knife skills that just make my brain hurt. I’m sure this is more to do with this being a repeat viewing, but it really sucks!
  • The poo jokes. There’s babies involved, I get there is a well there to be used. I have my issues with the projectile shit, but the biggest culprit for me is the “I need to lay off the Thai food” open doored shit Jamie takes.
    I’m calling bullshit on this! What a gratuitous, unfunny scene. Unless Jamie and Dave have some massive kink, she would be closing the fucking door on that shit, pun very much intended.
    Now, had it been the other way around, I’d have had no problem believing that Mitch, in Dave’s body, would have done this being used to living alone. That would have made for a so-so believable scene, and given Jamie cause to question what the blokes had said earlier. However, to suggest that this woman would habitually undress, leave the door open so her husband can have a direct view of the bog, and proceed to have a wet and squelchy shit. The smell of which will plague the bedroom for god knows how long?! Nope, not buying it.
    I know, I know, it’s not that deep! You’re right. Toilet humour is low, its superficial and I fucking hate it.

Final Thoughts

This is one of those films I actually forget I hate. Its Hangover, but a pale imitation. Thank fuck the Hangover buzz was left behind in the early 2010’s.

Unlikely Hero (2009)

AKA: Paper Man
Rating: 15
Length: 1h 50
Release: 14.4.2014 (UK DVD)
Dir: Kieran & Michele Mulroney
About: A frustrated novelist (Jeff Daniels) begins to depend less on his imaginary friend (Ryan Reynolds) when he forms a unique bond with a Long Island teenager (Emma Stone).



The Good

  • Ryan Reynolds is just incredible as this larger than life, colourful superhero imaginary friend. This sort of crazy is where he shines. His character is just delightfully absurd and is the saving grace of the movie. He works so well alongside Jeff Daniels. I really wanted more. In fact, it could have just been the two of them for the entire time, and i still would have wanted more.
  • There’s a scene in a bar in which Richard is befriending the locals. The way in which he has them all hanging on to every word is something I would have loved to have seen more of.
  • Emma Stone’s character is just as complex as Richard’s. Everything about her individually I love; her background, her anger, her outlook. The only thing I don’t like is her relationship and interaction with Richard. It being the basis of the movie, therefore, becomes a problem.

The Bad

  • Some of the film’s choices are massively problematic and, on the whole, the film leaves too much unresolved. What happens to Abby’s friend as a result of the film is quite horrific and the relationship between Richard and his wife is so toxic, but its played out in such a bias way that I don’t know how any viewer can be satisfied.

The Ugly

  • There’s an uncomfortable line that this film dances with, and it stops it being the uplifting film I certainly wanted it to be. The issue is the establishment of what the relationship between Daniel’s Richard and Stone’s Abby. It takes way too long to suggest that what both are missing the father/daughter bond. By the time its suggested (not established) the creepy/ grooming seeds have been sown. It’s further compacted by the final act; the post party snuggle and her kissing him on the mouth during their farewell. It completely ruins the entire tone of the movie and for at least the first half, I had my finger on the remote ready to turn it off.

Final Thoughts

There’s a charming indie film hidden under a gloss of grooming and misery. It stops you engaging with the more important, meaningful, aspects.

Detective Pikachu

Length: 1Hr 45

Rating: PG

Release: 10th May 2019

About:

Ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son, Tim, to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth Detective Pikachu. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to work together, as Tim is the only human who can talk with Pikachu, they join forces to unravel the tangled mystery.

Forethought

I’ve not seen a single episode of Pokemon. I once had a dream about owning a Pokemon, called squirtle. I looked it up, and it was real. As in it WAS the Pokemon called Squirtle. I’ve played Pokemon Go… until it updated and lost all my progress. Then I waited until the Jurassic World one was up and running!

So I pretty much into this with no knowledge of the franchise and just to hear Ryan Reynolds.

The Good

• The story was quite clever and was able to give us a world that embraced what came before and give the audience something unique.

• Jurassic Park alumni Justice Smith holds his own as the human protagonist in the film. While Tim perhaps doesn’t have the character development you’d expect, he really does charm and endear himself to the viewer. I’m hoping if we get a sequel, we get to see his confidence grow.

• Pikachu has the perfect voice with Reynolds. Not going to lie; I wanted more Deadpool in a cute outfit, but I’m happy he wasn’t completely PG’d. There were a few quips that will go over the little one’s heads and give the adults a giggle.

• Having a London/USA/Tokyo mashup city was a brilliant touch and they blended it all really well. The CGI was on point, although time will tell if it stands up to repeated viewing.

The Bad

• The casting of Chris Geere actually reveals more of the plot that it should have. It’s a shame because if they’d cast someone else, someone like Raffe Spall for example, I think the impact they were going for would have been achieved. As it stands, I saw the ‘twist’ a mile off.

• There’s slightly too much slight of hand and throwing the viewer off the ‘truth’. Which is fine if you don’t make it so obvious that’s what you’re doing.

The Ugly

• Kathryn Newton’s introduction as Lucy was appallingly clunky and does the actress, or the character, little justice. The visual set up of her being a femme fatale is awesome: and then she opens her mouth. I’ve seen the actress in other things and she’s good, so I’m not entirely sure how this made the cut.

Final Thoughts

It’s viewer newbie friendly, funny and with a lot of heart. It’s certainly worth a watch but dude to its ‘go big or go home’ approach, I’m not sure it’s going to give us another instalment.