CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
19 April 2011. Location: Cinema
I've never really warmed to Danny McBride. In everything I've seen him in, he's played a bit of an unlikeable character, and after a while you begin to wonder how much he's acting. So it's a great relief to see that he hasn't broken form here, and his portrayal of Thadeous is pretty irritating for just about the entire movie. Even at the end when he's meant to be on the other side of some character development.
McBride's first and last lines in the film are both swearing. This, for me, sums up perfectly the major flaw in this movie: saying "fuck" isn't funny in its own right. Oh, believe me, in the right context I've been known to literally cry laughing at a flurry of bad language, or even just a single well-placed expletive. But 95% of the swearing in the movie (and there is a lot) is out of character, out of context and seems to have been put in because the writers couldn't think of a punchline to end the scene. I feel so grown up when I moan about this, but I get the impression they were pushing the envelope to get the 15 Certificate and make the film seem edgier. It'd have made a perfectly acceptable 12A without the language, but hey-ho.
I'm also not sure that Danny McBride is ready for a lead-role just yet. Other than me not being able to like him (which could just be me), he doesn't really have the charisma he needs, and is constantly overshadowed by James Franco and Natalie Portman. Had he played the role of Thadeous' man-servant Courtney, he'd have fit in a lot better I think.
Apart from those gripes, it's fairly enjoyable, if somewhat run-of-the-mill. Some great casting of British and American acting talent (the US ones with varying degrees of Brit-accent-stability, which I'm going to assume is deliberate), and beautifully choreographed and shot action-scenes. The effects work was also particularly nice for a movie like this where it's often pushed to the back of the budget. Zooey Deschanel seems largely wasted in her role, but as long as she got paid, who cares, right?
Some nice homages to Star Wars, Clash of the Titans (the 1981 one), and I think I saw a Ghostbusters one towards the end.
This will probably work best on DVD after you've had two or three pints. That'll certainly be the only time I'll watch it again.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.