Be warned: this is a movie meant only for hardcore fans of the 1994 original, and other moronic comedies in which plot, character and filmmaking coherence aren't important. If any fart joke makes you laugh, don't miss it. Everyone else probably already knows that they should avoid this movie, which is even more idiotic than it looks. Although for those forced to suffer through it, there's at least a strand of witty, absurd comedy faintly running through each scene.
After an utterly pointless 20-year practical joke, old buddies Harry and Lloyd (Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey) are once again a team, causing chaos everywhere they go due to their inability to understand pretty much anything that's happening around them. Now Harry needs a kidney transplant, just as he discovers that he fathered a child with Fraida (Kathleen Turner) nearly 23 years ago. So he and Lloyd head off to find his daughter Fanny (Rachel Melvin). She has been raised by a Nobel-winning scientist (Steve Tom) and his money-grabbing wife (Laurie Holden), who's plotting with the handyman (Rob Riggle) to steal his millions. All of them converge on an inventors' convention in El Paso, where Harry is mistaken as a genius, Lloyd falls in love with the wrong woman and everything climaxes in a vortex of mistaken identity and wacky slapstick.
While absolutely everything about this film is painfully stupid, filmmakers Peter and Bobby Farrelly have learned from making solid comedies (like There's Something About Mary and Stuck on You), and the script has an underlying wit to it that hints at a much better movie screaming to get out. But the Farrellys simply leave everything as mindless as possible, using a strangely clunky directing style that feels cheap and underplanned. While there's a steady stream of amusing throwaway gags, the plot and characters never develop into anything engaging, mainly because both Carrey and Daniels are encouraged to overplay every moment so badly that we begin to wonder how anyone could think this was even vaguely funny.
Continue reading: Dumb And Dumber To Review
With his most stylish film yet, horror specialist Alexandre Aja takes a wildly irreverent approach, packing the screen with rude humour, visual flourishes and spiky characters. But it's assembled in such a rapid-fire way that it's difficult to get a handle on anything, which makes the movie feel like a series of outrageous set-pieces without a coherent plot to hold them together. The likeable actors help bring their characters to life, but the film is too hyperactive to let us engage with any of them.
It's set in a small town near Seattle, where Ig (Daniel Radcliffe) is in shock after his childhood sweetheart Merrin (Juno Temple) was violently murdered. Then he becomes the prime suspect, and the media have a field day. So he hires his lifelong pal Lee (Max Minghella) as his lawyer, partly because he's the only person in town who believes he's innocent. This includes Ig's parents (James Remar and Kathleen Quinlan) and brother (Joe Anderson). As the situation continues to deteriorate, Ig suddenly discovers that horns are growing on his head and no one seems very shocked by this. They also seem unable to lie in his presence, so he decides to use this to find out who really killed Merrin. Along the way he gets a shocking glimpse into what everyone in town really thinks about each other.
The film is an assault on the senses, as Aja packs every moment with outrageous sights and sounds, encouraging the actors to sometimes drift over the line into broad slapstick. He also fills the screen with religious imagery, including churches, crosses, pitchforks and snakes, all hinting that Ig's transformation is connected with his loss of faith. Or maybe it's just part of the film's jokey attitude. But as pieces of the central mystery slowly fall into place, the movie seems to become looser and less coherent. Even when the real villain is identified, there's still at least half an hour of flashbacks and revelations, confrontations and conclusions, none of which are particularly surprising or satisfying.
Continue reading: Horns Review
At age 71, Martin Scorsese proves with this riotous romp that he's one of the most energetic, audacious filmmakers working in America at the moment. And with his long-time 74-year-old editor Thelma Schoonmaker, he has created one of the most entertaining cautionary tales in recent memory. Not only does it highlight an unruly period in banking history, but it has a lot to say about where we are now.
This is the true story of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), who was 21 when he got his first job on Wall Street in the rough-and-tumble 1980s. Thanks to his illicit deals, he was a multi-millionaire within five years, tutored by a jaded veteran (McConaughey) and assisted by an enthusiastic novice (Hill). Along the way, he also swaps for a much more glamorous wife (Robbie), whose British aunt (Lumley) becomes part of his scam to stash his cash with a shady Swiss banker (Dujardin). But with an FBI agent (Chandler) on his trail, Jordan suspects that the high life can't go on forever.
At just under three hours long, the film sometimes feels like it is wallowing in the excessive sex and drugs along with these Wall Street criminals. But there's a jagged undercurrent to everything: all of this hedonism may look like fun, but someone is paying the price. The film is an often thrilling series of set-pieces that roll out in waves of comedy, tragedy and farce as these people play on the edge of an abyss. And it's great to see scenes play out in real time, with deep conversations, riotous comedy riffs and characters who are full of conflicting layers.
Continue reading: The Wolf Of Wall Street Review
Jason (Scott) and his best friend Julie (Westfeldt) are a bit horrified when their coupled pals Leslie and Alex (Rudolph and O'Dowd) and Ben and Missy (Hamm and Wiig) have children. So they decide to have a child without the baggage of a relationship, freeing them to find the right person once they're already single parents. Their baby son is adorable, and raising him brings them closer as friends while allowing them to pursue romances with the hot Mary Jane (Fox) and the sexy Kurt (Burns). But no one else is buying it.
Continue reading: Friends With Kids Review
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