Quick Hit: Some sporadic moments of comedy but nothing that ever shone like it could have.
Kate McKinnon has a very particular brand of funny. Honestly, it’s very hit or miss for me. There are times that she really knocks it out of the park, and she has been doing more voice acting recently as well (her work on a PBS show called Nature Cat is very fun for the kids). But she also has moments where I think her comedy doesn’t work as well. Luckily here, I thought it played well, especially to Mila Kunis as a straight. It’s similar to the dynamic that worked out in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
The difference between this movie (eh) and that one (great) though is myriad. There is better dialogue there, and the plot doesn’t feel so stuffed. Here, the plot hurries along, which is good, but you never really get a good feel for the characters themselves. Mila Kunis seems to be playing a character that is a sad sap, but it’s awfully hard to buy. McKinnon plays her typical crazy with crazy parents, but if you look deeper and try and understand why these two may be friends, or why Kunis is so desperate, the whole things starts to fall apart.
The plot does give a lot of humor though, and it slowly builds until it implodes on itself at the end. There’s a lot of mess there, which involves murder, mystery, an ex-boyfriend, and of course, a death at a circus including some crazy trapeze work from an Eastern European (and Kate McKinnon). There’s a lot going on, and like the rest of the movie, it’s pretty hit or miss as to whether it creates tension, creates laughter, or just falls flat.
I will state that the action scenes in this movie are frequently tremendous. There’s a lot of action, some of it at the expense of the women, but as the movie goes on includes them as partners and equals. That is one of the best things for me – the movie truly was led by the women in it. With a little more careful execution you would have had a very good action movie spoof. As it is, the movie falls a bit flat. I’d still say that fans of McKinnon’s off-beat humor or Kunis’s continued bonafides as a comedic actor will leave with at least a smile and a chuckle. I’m giving this one a “C”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"