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Ride Along 2 Review

Bad

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following up their lacklustre 2014 action-comedy with a film that's even lazier. While the first one at least had a sense of pacing, with humour that sometimes tipped from idiotic to mildly funny, this movie wastes its cast and premise on a series of witless action sequences, dopey slapstick and contrived relational touches. It's only watchable because Hart is able to make the most undemanding audience members chuckle now and then.

After proving that his video-gaming skills were useful in police work, Ben (Hart) has completed police academy and is working as a rookie, shadowing tough-guy detective James (Cube), whose sister Angela (Tika Sumpter) is marrying Ben in just a week. But before that happens, James and Ben head to Miami to follow a lead in a drug case they're working on. Alongside local tough-girl detective Maya (Olivia Munn), they track down a hacker (Ken Jeong) who has proof that local philanthropist Antonio (Benjamin Bratt) is actually a notorious global black market dealer. To prove that, they have to dive into a series of car and boat chases, plus heists and shootouts that never seem to go the way anyone expects.

The underlying story is exactly the same as the first film: James is trying to prove that Ben is an idiot, while he is actually softening James' rough edges. The difference here is that they know each other a bit better, so are more effective at getting under each others' skin. This means that they're even less likeable than before, and even Hart's non-stop comical chatter is more annoying than it is amusing. There are moments when Hart adds a tiny detail that elicits a smile from viewers, and some of his physical antics are so ridiculous that it's difficult not to giggle, but most of that is simply because it's unbelievable that the filmmakers thought any of this was genuinely funny.

Continue reading: Ride Along 2 Review

Ride Along Review


OK

There's a decent premise to this action-comedy, but the filmmakers can't be bothered to put in the effort to actually make it funny or exciting. Instead, they sit back and hope that the fast-talking Kevin Hart holds our interest. Thankfully, he's quite a lot of fun to watch, creating a likeable character out of an utter moron and generating a few good laughs along the way as he bounces off the other characters.

Hart plays Ben, a videogame addict who wants to spin his career as a school guard into a place at the Atlanta Police Academy. His sexy fiancee Angela (Sumpter) has a brother, James (Cube), who's an undercover detective and wants Ben to prove himself worthy of his sister. So he takes Ben on a ride-along, which he and his partners (Leguizamo and Callen) set up as a series of humiliations. Then Ben inadvertently discovers a few clues in their ongoing case to find mythical arms dealer Omar (Fishburne). And what started as a joke becomes rather a lot more explosive.

Yes, the film is packed with the usual fiery explosions and massive car chases punctuated by Hart's non-stop comedy patter. Ben is the standard cocky, annoying idiot who we know will become someone completely different by the end of the movie (see Beverly Hills Cop, Rush Hour, The Heat, et al). But this allows us to engage with Hart from the beginning, and he finds some sharp humour along the way. Cube, on the other hand, never remotely convinces as a hardened cop; we know he's a big softy. And poor Sumpter, virtually the only female on-screen, struggles to add spice to a thankless role that plays out exactly as the formula demands.

Continue reading: Ride Along Review

Arthur Review


OK
In a sea of unnecessary remakes, this rehash of the 1981 comedy seems particularly ill-timed, as it's no longer fun to laugh at irresponsible drunks, especially when they're billionaires. But it's just about watchable.

Pampered rich boy-man Arthur Bach (Brand) has finally pushed his mother (James) too far. Head of a multinational conglomerate, she tells him he'll lose his inheritance if he doesn't marry the shark-like Susan (Garner), daughter of a property tycoon (Nolte). In a perpetual state of womanising drunkenness, Arthur is propped up by the only two people who like him: long-suffering nanny Hobson (Mirren) and patient chauffer Bitterman (Guzman). Then as he agrees to marry Susan, he finds himself falling for quirky tour guide Naomi (Gerwig).

Continue reading: Arthur Review

Good Morning, Vietnam Review


Excellent
Think back to middle school for a moment. Who was the class clown? What was he like?

If your eighth-grade classroom was like most, your class clown was a guarded, smallish boy who was utterly terrified of being himself for even a moment, for fear of suffering the ridicule of others. So he made cracks all day long, and if your classmates laughed every one in a while, you may have eventually seen this kid in adulthood spitting jokes professionally in the vicinity of a brick wall.

Continue reading: Good Morning, Vietnam Review

Freddy Got Fingered Review


Terrible
(sung to the tune of Tom Green's "The Bum-Bum Song")

My bum is in the chairMy bum is in the chairLook at meI'm watching Tom Green's hair!

Continue reading: Freddy Got Fingered Review

The Extreme Adventures Of Super Dave Review


Bad
Ever wished longingly for the glory days when you could watch "Late Night with David Letterman" and catch a little bit of that wacky Super Dave Osborne, the stuntman who just can't get things right? Well now you can relive those happy moments at your leisure, by taking Super Dave home in his theatrical -- er, straight-to-video -- debut: The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave!

What, you aren't frantically dialing your phone to reserve your copy at the video store yet? Take off your shoes and put down the car keys. If this video has proven anything, it's that what can be funny for 1/2 a minute probably usually won't make it for 91. Oh, how Super Dave proves it.

Continue reading: The Extreme Adventures Of Super Dave Review

The Last Shot Review


Very Good
This is a sometimes hilarious sometimes flat takeoff on the allure of Hollywood make believe and the mystical green light of production. As a spoof of inside customs and practices of the film industry, it's a telling and whimsical satire put together by obvious insiders. As a factory for jokes, it varies, it wobbles, it tickles but most of all it finally brings a laugh to theatres at a time when something comedic is sorely needed.

It's well known or, at least, widely surmised, that the teamster's local, the union that drives the wheels of production, is mob controlled. So when often-overlooked FBI agent Joe Devine (Alec Baldwin) suggests to his superiors that the way to take down local mobster Tommy Sanz (Tony Shalhoub) is to lure him into a sting operation based on the illusion of a new Hollywood production, he's given the Bureau's green light.

Continue reading: The Last Shot Review

The Greatest Game Ever Played Review


Weak
You learn several facts about golf in Bill Paxton's adaptation of The Greatest Game Ever Played, including that the sport was once so dominated by social standing that family background played as big a role as a player's skills.

That tidbit of information is not so appealing when it's shoved down your throat for two hours. Paxton and writer Mark Frost (adapting from his own non-fiction book), so intent on remaking Seabiscuit on a golf course, so zealous to show the triumph of the common man, don't create a feel-good, root-for-the-underdog movie, but a caricature of one. You've never seen so many scenes of fat, rich men in fancy suits, huddled around oak desks sipping brandy and talking in solemn tones. You've never seen so many scenes of working class strife. If the movie's working class hero (Shia LaBeouf, looking all grown up) was tied to a railroad track by the dastardly duo of J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, it wouldn't come as a surprise.

Continue reading: The Greatest Game Ever Played Review

Sorority Boys Review


Weak
The heavily recycled "war-of-the-Greeks" movie theme, first made popular in the early 1980s, has returned to the screen in an updated form with the cross-gender comedy Sorority Boys. The movie is filled to its bong-brim with the crude, embarrassing humor of its predecessors, however its sole joke fails to leave an impact.

Dave (Barry Watson), Doofer (Harland Williams), and Adam (Michael Rosenbaum) are the only members of the KOK (pronounced cock) fraternity social committee. During one bash, the money the house had saved to sponsor the annual KOKtail Cruise is stolen and the three bumbleheads are accused of pilfering the money. They are banished from the house. They then return for the next night's party to find out who really took the money. To get into the party, though, they need a disguise. What better way to fool their fraternity brothers than to show up at the party as women!? "Daisy," "Roberta," and "Adina" go to the party to find a hidden video camera that recorded the true thief in the act. All they need to do is find the videotape and their innocence will be revealed. If it were only so easy! Instead, they are tossed out of the party during the ceremony known as "dogcatcher" -- usually reserved for getting rid of the unattractive women of the neighboring Delta Omicron Gamma (DOG - clever, huh?) sorority.

Continue reading: Sorority Boys Review

Krippendorf's Tribe Review


Weak
Hey kids! Ever think about embezzlement as a source of fun and profit? Well, Krippendorf's Tribe can teach you how: the easy way, through misappropriating government grants!! Watch in amazement as Richard Dreyfuss invents a lost tribe and lectures about it endlessly. Thrill to Jenna Elfman's greedy bitch of a backstabber (who towers above her costar)! You'll laugh your ass off (or not) as a pig runs around the backyard! Does the fun ever start?
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Larry Brezner Movies

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Ride Along Movie Review

Ride Along Movie Review

There's a decent premise to this action-comedy, but the filmmakers can't be bothered to put...

Arthur Movie Review

Arthur Movie Review

In a sea of unnecessary remakes, this rehash of the 1981 comedy seems particularly ill-timed,...

Freddy Got Fingered Movie Review

Freddy Got Fingered Movie Review

(sung to the tune of Tom Green's "The Bum-Bum Song")My bum is in the chairMy...

The Last Shot Movie Review

The Last Shot Movie Review

This is a sometimes hilarious sometimes flat takeoff on the allure of Hollywood make believe...

The Greatest Game Ever Played Movie Review

The Greatest Game Ever Played Movie Review

You learn several facts about golf in Bill Paxton's adaptation of The Greatest Game Ever...

Sorority Boys Movie Review

Sorority Boys Movie Review

The heavily recycled "war-of-the-Greeks" movie theme, first made popular in the early 1980s, has returned...

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