Back in 1998 after the first asteroid disaster porn flick, we got this… MoreBack in 1998 after the first asteroid disaster porn flick, we got this second very different take on the same idea. The first movie 'Deep Impact' had been a very serious sensible realistic angle on what would or could happen. This film was helmed by the one and only Michael Bay...hence it went down the over the top action packed cool gadget exploding set piece rammed popcorn fireball with enough gloss and shine to decorate Buck Palace.
What is so funny about this is the plot for this movie is exactly the same as 'Deep Impact', admittedly there isn't much scope for originality when an asteroid is heading to Earth but bloody hell! So yes an asteroid is heading to Earth and its a whopper! NASA are befuddled about what to do so they devise this plan to drill into the asteroids core (or near enough) and plant one of those ever handy nukes we have strewn around our planet for just such an occasion. For this they are gonna need Bruce Willis and his team of beer swillin' fist throwing womanising drunkies to save the day, thank God for Bruce Willis.
So the initial hook for this movie is the bunch of grimy grunts that are handed the job of saving the world. In the other film the team of astronauts were clean cut slickass all Americans (apart from the Russian) that all probably sat down to pee, this time the team are so utterly shabby and rebellious you tend to wonder how the hell they ever manage to get anything done without squabbling drinking or having random brawls. Willis' character shows how unstable he is in the first ten minutes by going after Batfleck's character with a shotgun! a grown adult is falling in love with his grown adult daughter...yeah sure that isn't too overly protective to worrying proportions.
I can't deny that this hook is a winner and Bay nurtures it perfectly. The gathering of the team montage is fun and badass as each member is brought in by officials from their own individual seedy locations, Buscemi's being the best. The casting for this team again is admittedly sheer brilliance, Buscemi is the...errr well he's virtually a seedy prostitute using Lothario that makes you wonder if age ever comes into it. Will Patton is the all round sense of reason for the team, Michael Clarke Duncan is basically the gruff muscle (could he really be anything else?), Batfleck is the handsome young guy who is bonking the romantic angle Liv Tyler and Owen Wilson in one of his first major roles plays a Texan cowboy type because...errm he comes from Texas in real life and has a Texan drawl.
Next to the D-team of heroes you have Keith David playing the gruff US military General who naturally hasn't revealed the entire plan, Fichtner plays the gruff golden boy US astronaut who also hasn't revealed the entire plan because he's in cahoots with the US military, Billy Bob Thornton is the good guy NASA controller who is the sense of reason on the ground and finally Peter Stormare naturally plays a Russian astronaut who comes across as drunk for most of the time. Yep so the cast line is pretty darn sweet no doubt, a solid ensemble.
As I've already explained and as I'm sure you're all aware of the other hook for this movie was the firework display show more commonly known as the special effects. The movie is ridiculous yes, we know this, but at no point does the movie ever try not to be ridiculous, Bay and co know what they are aiming for and they strike with lethal efficiency. The set pieces all look like something from a comicbook superhero flick, the gadgets are big bold and badass, the action is wild and furious with people getting killed off in various obligatory space-like ways and in general it all does look very good even to this day. Add to that the now known Bayisms such as mighty lens flares, mighty low camera angles, mighty explosions...even in space, sunsets, that specific colour palette he seems to regurgitate, slow motion close ups and his military fetish. The only things he doesn't manage to cram in here surprisingly are car porn and hot girly soft porn (Tyler most certainly does not qualify here).
The film in short was a huge huge success mainly because it caters for us...the regular folk. The heroes in the movie are all average Joe's with average looks and various defects (mainly mental), this isn't about big lantern jawed super men with huge biceps and rippling six-packs. The entire premise of regular blue collar bums getting called up to save the Earth is a winning formula that most will get behind. This also adds to the nice array of semi adult humour that is spread throughout the movie plus it cranks up the tension and emotions massively when the guys get into big trouble and you approach the predictable weepy ending. Its genuinely great fun to watch this group of everyday schmoes trying to get through NASA training with their attitudes towards the preppy clean cut environment they are now in and their average everyday physical issues such as being completely out of shape. You also relate and feel for them when the shit hits the fan and they're stuck in this scientific hi-tech terror situation with lots of confusing buttons.
Yep back in the day Bay knew how to throw out a good heavily buttered popcorn flick...before he milked it out of existence. The movie was targeted for the wider audience and it scored in every department, even the God awful Aerosmith power ballad cleaned up as teenage girls everywhere trembled at the knees. The film moved with an incredible pace which I found acceptable given the style of the movie and the fact we already had a slower burning asteroid strike movie earlier in the year. Likewise the authenticity of the whole thing was kinda dubious in places but really? does anyone really need to even question that aspect of it? its quite obvious what could possibly be done in reality and what probably couldn't.
Both of the asteroid flicks that landed back in 1998 were essentially exactly the same thing, they offered the same and delivered the same. Each movie offered the same but from a different angle...and they both worked! amazingly. End of the day as I said in my 'Deep Impact' review, that first movie was the equivalent of a much slower sensible simulator videogame. This movie is the equivalent of an arcade videogame, big bold loud bad colourful and in your face, it should rock you, and honesty for me this movie actually did just that.
When you see the poster for this movie it tells you everything you… MoreWhen you see the poster for this movie it tells you everything you need to know. Its a mock cover of the famous Rolling Stone magazine featuring the aging 70's band 'Strange Fruit'. You can tell quite easily the movie is going to be a good laugh by the quite disturbingly haggard and unsexy looking pose from Nighy in the centre, its funny and icky at the same time.
The plot, as you can imagine, is all about getting the band back together for a reunion concert. Back in the day 'Strange Fruit' were on the brink of stardom but it all fell apart when their lead singer died of a drugs overdose. Twenty years later Rea trying to get the guys back on-board whilst having to deal with each members current problems and the confrontations that have reared up again. Eventually, once everybody is brought together again, it is discovered their old lead guitarist (brother of their old lead singer) has also apparently died of a drugs overdose (as is the norm in this business). This forces the band to hire a much younger guitarist for their comeback adding more tension. Can the lads all come together and prove to themselves they've still got what it takes? or they had what it took originally to make it to the big time?
I think the casting is the one main factor that makes this film work, the small British ensemble casting of Nighy, Nail, Rea, Connolly and Spall. Not only does this group of oddball character actors gel together perfectly but visually they actually look like an aging 70's rock band too. Nighy as the flaky somewhat slow long haired rock-star lead singer, Connolly has always looks the part of a hippie rock singer so no worries there, Rea with his curly Brian May hairdo, Nail the deep conscientious heart of the band, the hard worker with strong morals and family values and finally Spall looks like a dirty unwashed biker with Inland Revenue issues.
I liked the whole loggerhead scenario between Nighy's character and Nail's character. Nighy's character being the epitome of a glamorous fame obsessed money grabber, his larger then life rock-star lifestyle clashing against the quiet brooding song writer of Nail's character. Nighy does tend to be the problem in the band for the most part with his overbearing wife and the fact he is still haunted by the reality that he was hired as a replacement for the bands old lead singer. He tries to elevate his performances with glam costumes and stage effects because he's insecure over his own abilities, now being much older. This in turn affects the band and their overall performances which provides both amusing and sober sequences.
The situations and scenarios are really authentic within this film. The group having to slum it around backstreet nightclubs for work and recognition, dodgy stage safety, trying to re-tune their skills whilst bickering with each other, bad food on the go, little money, poor accommodation and the obligatory sex drugs and booze problems. This angle is stronger because its also about a group of old men trying to rekindle something great they once had, reigniting an old flame. The outlook on life and the music is very different from their younger days, its not all about sex drugs and roll 'n' roll anymore, there is more to it than that. Sure they wanna be like their younger selves again and uncork that lightning in a bottle but the team has to learn to settle old scores, move on and help each other with their dreams.
The locations humour visuals and dialog is all typically British and it is a hoot to watch but the fall outs and reconciliations along the way do get a bit frustrating, you just wanna slap them and tell them to get on with it. The movie does tend to drag a tad through the middle, there are some nice montages and some great original musical numbers but the break up of the band midway brings with it lots of moping by Nail's character who can be overly broody. Its mainly Nail Nighy and Rea who carry the film honesty, Connolly and Spall tend to fade in and out of the background whilst Matheson does his best Liam Gallagher walk at one point. The finale and its little twist is cute but completely predictable, but we all knew it would end on a happy note I'm sure.
A fantastic nod to the late 60's 70's glam rock era of course, many influences, very relatable for many I'm sure and very very very British with its dry wit and toilet humour. Personally I think the film should of been called 'Strange Fruit'...rock 'n' roll forever!
Fresh off the success of the 'Crocodile Dundee' movies where Hogan… MoreFresh off the success of the 'Crocodile Dundee' movies where Hogan played a rough tough lovable roguish bushman, Hogan is back going for gold again playing...a rough tough lovable roguish criminal. Only this criminal has changed his ways after a near death situation and he now believes he's an angel on a mission from God, but is he?
Thing about this film that is disappointing is the fact they don't really make the most of the idea. We're never entirely sure if Hogan's character is actually an angel, was his afterlife experience just a dream or not and if he's really invincible, we're led to believe he's a heavenly being through various lucky scrapes. For the whole run time this concept isn't really explored as well as it could have been I think because this character doesn't really do much accept walk out in front of trucks. There are times he puts himself at risk helping others like standing up against some gang members and setting up religious themed tricks but on the whole its all dialog.
Now there's nothing wrong with good dialog, emotional dialog...but this doesn't really have that (Paul Hogan comedy remember), you really do expect there to be more in the shape of visual comedy. Most of the time he's chatting to folk, trying to either con or assist them and of course having to fend off his real time wife Kozlowski. Gee I wonder whose idea it was to cast her in the film. I suppose it is neat to have us the audience unsure as to whether this guy is really an angel or not but this also kinda leads to the movie being really very dull. Like I say nothing really happens that is exciting or remotely interesting other than him beating some guys up once and walking out in front of a truck.
Things become really boring when he meets up with a wheelchair bound Elias Koteas whom he makes friends with. This is the main plot point in the film and its incredibly boring, things were dull before this but dear Lord it gets worse. The movies highlight appears to be a chase sequence between a fat cop and Koteas in his wheelchair...and the fat cop can't catch him...on foot...riiiiiight. They actually do try and make this sequence really intense as Koteas ducks under stuff, turns corners sharply and pumps away to increase his speed...I'm serious here. Plus I really gotta mention how lame of an ending it is for Koteas' character, he bumps into something and ends up fatally stabbing himself in the thigh...laugh out loud!
In the end we actually discover Hogan is an angel...oh spoil...whatever. Its only then that you realise how cool this film could of been with more ghosty spiritual moments like that. Don't get me wrong its a nice ending but it sure took some strength to get there sheesh! The tagline for this movie is [i]'The guy from down under is working for the man upstairs'[/i]...I mean sure its a quirky line but are they really still banking on the fact Hogan is an Aussie?? still pushing and depending on that unimportant geographical detail! Surely they exhausted that with the 'Mick Dundee' movies...we get it, he's an Aussie, cultural differences gag officially milked.
Another month another straight to DVD JCVD action flick, well almost.… MoreAnother month another straight to DVD JCVD action flick, well almost. Quality wise JCVD's action fodder is slightly better than his other fellow aging action stars like Dolph and Seagal but its still all the same stuff really.
This time JC is an ex-merc who helps the police in finding missing people or mainly kids. Expect the usual fudge ups and self loathing as JCVD's character goes from bottom of the barrel to back on form and saving the day, typical emotional rollercoaster drama.
Not much martial arts to be seen here, this is more of a kidnap rescue type thing, JC in military mode with stealth and plenty of gunfire. Predictable and has all the regular cliches that have been seen/used before in tonnes of similar films, but comparing to other straight to DVD JCVD films its not too bad.
The much anticipated reboot of the flagging franchise that was kinda… MoreThe much anticipated reboot of the flagging franchise that was kinda abused and left for dead back in 1998 by Roland Emmerich. A revamped origins tale set in the present day with a much darker moodier semi realistic approach that everybody kinda expected to be like 'Pacific Rim' but wasn't.
I'm not gonna lie and say this movie isn't cheesy, its all about huge monsters that are awakened from the bowels of the Earth and go rampaging through our city streets...oh and these monsters eat radiation. Indeed the story starts out in a very cheesy hammy sandwich type manner much like the Emmerich version back in 98. A couple large egg-like cocoons are accidentally discovered by a mining company, one happens to be fresh and open leaving a rather huge obvious trail down to the seafront. The appearance of these two insectoid-like monsters triggers the appearance of Godzilla for some reason whose existence has been known about since 1954 by the US government...can never trust that US government huh. What was that huge skeleton then? a long dead Godzilla?
I like how the military pick up Cranston and his son when snooping around the ruins of Janjira and take them back to the top secret base where they keep the monster. Why would you take trespassers back to your top secret base and show them everything? I did like the little moment showing some bugs crawling over tiny toy tanks in the ruins, clever little wink there.
It seems that these monsters were driven underground millions of years ago I think it was, hibernating if you will. All that time they have lived on radiation deep within the Earth but...would there be enough radiation for such large creatures? wouldn't these creatures ever need to move around or require oxygen to breathe? Now I realise these things all tie in with Godzilla lore and the film is of course an all out fantasy flick about monster mashing but at the same time its been made in a serious way so questions will be raised. I know Godzilla has his trademark atomic breath attack (like a dragon) and these things emit EMP attacks, but how would that stuff even work in a semi- realistic movie like this? is there enough radiation for such vast creatures to live on when on the surface? I'm no scientist so beats me, doesn't seem feasible.
I still don't really get why Godzilla even pops up in this story, does he merely awaken to hunt the other two monsters? how does he even know they are around? why does he hunt them? he clearly has some kind of grudge against these things. Since Godzilla has been around since 1954 what has he been doing all this time?? if he lives to hunt the other monsters what the hell does he do to pass the time?!! anyone?? And how in God's name does he NOT get seen by any living soul??!! the thing is fucking massive!! you're telling me he's never been spotted or detected when swimming around or possibly popping up for some sunshine. Seriously I know I'm a picky bastard but come on!
So apart from the patchwork plot what else has this got? well if you're wanting monster battles then not much. Most of the overly long run time is merely watching human characters and their rather mundane problems as their world gets crushed around them. You'd think the development would be solid but its not really, its very shallow, very cliched and wholly boring frankly. What's more the damn bare faced false advertising of man of the moment Cranston as a main character is unbelievable! He's the only character of any interest and they kill the bugger off in the first twenty odd minutes!
The whole movie does play out like and have a very clear Speilbergian quality to it if you ask me. The entire approach both story wise and visually feels like a vamped up 'Close Encounters'...or 'Jaws' even. The way they hide the creatures right until the finale, lots of hinting, the dreary character arcs, the eerie foreboding, the bleak colour scheme and lighting etc...The only problem is this is a Godzilla movie, you pay to see Godzilla, you pay to see Godzilla kicking another monsters ass, you don't pay to see dull humans talking about how they can stop this rarely seen threat. Seriously Watanabe had a face like a goldfish for the entire run time, that's all he did...look shocked through multiple facial closeups accompanied by dramatic musical crescendos. In fact there were loads of overly dramatic moments with facial closeups and dialog read in an overly dramatic manner, quite amusing.
Once we see Godzilla he does look the business admittedly, the beast is gigantic imposing scary and spot on design wise. This Godzilla really looks like the classic Zilla we've all seen in the old Japanese flicks, its his face and spine scales that really sell it this time. The other monsters are fair enough but nothing outstanding, more like rejects from that Del Toro movie with their glowing luminous eyes and...errr luminous glowing egg sack cocoon things. I'm not a Godzilla connoisseur so I don't know but doesn't Zilla ever eat humans? would have been cool to see, plenty of stomp fodder of course which was sweet...yep I know that seems a bit sadistic but hey its a Godzilla movie.
In the end most of the movie doesn't feel like a Godzilla movie but a movie about military folk trying to get a bomb from one place to another and then trying to disarm it. The monster jiggery pokery merely happens in the background. When it does kick off at the end it does so spectacularly...as Godzilla saves the humans? Yep he kills the naughty beasties then simply slumps off back into the ocean without so much as a whiff of human munching. Oh and all the survivors of what's left of San Francisco cheer him as he does so...from the utter ruins of their city. Yes the movie looks fantastic all the way through, Godzilla looks fantastic, the final boss fight at the end looks fantastic and there are some fantastic sequences like the HALO jump.
Despite my hardline review I did kinda enjoy the film and I appreciate how they went about it by not slapping all their cards on the table at once. Whether that was the ideal way to go for this franchise is debatable and I'm sort of borderline with it. Its a solid new Godzilla from Hollywood but personally I think they have kinda acted a bit sneaky and have purposely held Godzilla back aiming to go all out with the possible (slightly inevitable) sequel...dare I say trilogy? Is it just me being cynical or does this seem to be the game plan more often these days.
Well despite a few decent actors involved ( Gleason, Henriksen, McCoy)… MoreWell despite a few decent actors involved ( Gleason, Henriksen, McCoy) this is total B-movie schlock as if you didn't realise already. It takes AGES to actually get to the point of the film which is simply a Bigfoot type creature running around in the woods killing some sexy girls and a few other guys in some remote cabins. Its OK I suppose...in places, but really terrible once the creatures face is shown, laughably so.
A few nice moments here and there with the creature but most of this is painfully bad. Visually the story almost plays out like the original 'King Kong' with dumb screaming girls being grabbed by big hairy hands whilst the annoying McCoy just sits in his wheelchair (yes you read correctly) and watches shouting out the occasional 'hey watch out!'.
Gotta love the ending though, almost like a 'Scooby Doo' moment.
Directed by action maestro Walter Hill and with a lead role for Bill… MoreDirected by action maestro Walter Hill and with a lead role for Bill Paxton this sounds like a great combination. Alas this turns out to be a very by the numbers thriller that can't really muster up anything overly exciting.
The film is quite similar to another thriller by the title of 'Judgment Night' plot wise. Some out of town blue collar guys get themselves into a difficult situation with a local gang or hoods. In this film the two men are trapped within an old vacant building whilst looking for some lost stolen treasure while in the other film some men are lost and trapped within a broken down dodgy neighbourhood.
The problem with this film is the bad guys, a gang made up of stereotypical cliched black hoods that are covered in bling and can't speak proper English. The casting has big names admittedly and includes most well known black character actors but for some reason Hill chose to cast Ice-T and Ice Cube...oh dear. Needless to say the acting from this pair is dire and ruins any potential tension whenever they are on screen.
Overall there isn't really much tension a tall frankly, not enough to make you care whether Paxton or Sadler (good guys) make it out alive or not. Its an old film now yes so you could excuse the predictable obligatory stuff that's included, you know Sadler is the unhinged guy that will crack through gold fever (the lost stolen items) and you know all the hoods will turn on each other. Ice Cube makes that rather obvious the moment he utters his first words.
Reasonably entertaining but lacking real bite. The reason 'Judgment Night' was so cool was down to the great casting of Leary as the main bad guy, this similar film is missing that key casting. Paxton is limp, Sadler is better as a villain and action is AWOL. The ending is slightly unique in the fact it doesn't end as you would think, doesn't make it any better though.
Back in 1998 we got the first of two movies revolving around the… MoreBack in 1998 we got the first of two movies revolving around the possible cataclysmic events of a gigantic comet hitting the Earth. This did happen a few times back in the 90's with the two volcano flicks...'Dante's Peak' and errr 'Volcano', 'Bug's Life' and 'Antz', 'Tombstone' and 'Wyatt Earp' etc... For some reason Hollywood bigwigs seemed to think we needed two virtually identical movies coming out in the same year.
Where as 'Armageddon' was a more bombastic explosion filled action adventure where characters had cool nicknames, this movie was a much deeper emotional rollercoaster with a sensible angle. I've always seen or compared these two films to videogames...this film being more like a realistic simulator and 'Armageddon' being more like a balls to the wall arcade cabinet game. Clearly there is no need to go over the plot in much detail as it speaks for itself, but both films required astronauts to drill deep into the vast looming comet and plant nukes to blow it up. In one film it works, in the other it doesn't.
What I liked about this film was the well portrayed characters and their development, although the casting wasn't all that good truth be told. We meet a rounded selection of average people, and of course Mr President and some officials, as the clock ticks down to judgement day. Each character has their own individual issues that intertwine with other characters throughout, its basically a slice of life for each person in the lead up to the disaster. In the mean time we also follow some astronauts and their mission to plant the nukes which naturally also includes more heart pounding problems to solve. On the whole every story line is very emotional as the tension builds...people die, people must make choices, sacrifices, redemption, reconciliation, love...its all here in buckets loads and what's more it works.
I will be quite honest here and say this movie gets me every time with the old waterworks, I can't help it. Leder uses all the tricks in the book to make you reach for the tissues, every predictable cliche is present and correct from making up with a loved one, giving up a life saving seat on a helicopter for a mother and child...to the astronauts making the ultimate sacrifice. There are some scenes which really wrench at your heartstrings (I think), when Leoni and Schell hold each other on the beach before being engulfed by the tsunami, the shuttle crew saying their goodbyes before blowing themselves up inside a comet fissure, when the newsroom team must draw straws for helicopter placings. That scene also annoyed me, a young mother and child draw the short straw and must stay behind and no one offers their place to them! surely a mother and baby would get a place regardless sheesh!
On the flip side the destruction porn, or disaster porn should I say is handled well with solid CGI. The ruination of poor old New York is well rendered and still holds up today, watching the megatsunami sweep through the city toppling skyscrapers is actually quite scary. The tsunami itself looks good against the city but elsewhere it does look a tad obvious, there are the odd shots that stick out a bit these days but that's expected. In general it all looks very good and with minimal use of big set pieces really, not until the finale that is, its mainly dialog and space sequences. The space sequences are quite impressive I might add, nicely done, realistic in appearance no nonsense...it all looked accurate to me, as though it could really happen. The comet sequences were probably the best in the film, it all looked like a set sure but very well created, cold and intimidating visually, great space suits for the astronauts and some slick looking machinery and gear which all looked like it would actually do the job for real.
It always amused me how the US decides to save one million people, 300,000 of which already have places, people like scientists teachers doctors...artists? No one over 50...bit of a bummer huh, oh unless you're the President or any of his aides that is. I've also always wondered about the US military in this film, did they get automatic places in the caves? seeing as they are serving their country, did their families get automatic places too? if not why would any soldier follow orders and do what they do...act like emotionless heartless robots.
I also found it hilarious that as Elijah Wood and his family are about to enter the caves his folks actually let him run off to find his little girlfriend! As if any parent would allow their child to do that in that situation, I'm pretty sure any normal parent would have dragged the child in with them no questions asked. The whole sub plot is ridiculous too seeing as Wood would have died for nothing, he didn't know the bigass comet would get destroyed and he never made it back to the caves, so both him and his girlfriend would have been killed ordinarily. When Wood does find his girlfriend her folks tell them to get to higher ground...but again why bother when they all knew the bigass comet would wipe everything out. Surely being together in the last few minutes would have been a better option for the kids. So technically Wood goes off on a suicide mission and his folks let him.
So even with a simple plot like this there are still (I think) some flaws that don't really reflect reality that well. I also thought the main casting was a bit all over the place with Leoni coming across kinda weak in my opinion. She just looks confused all the time and her newscaster sequences were terrible, even before she announces the bad news she's stuttering through it annoyingly. Schell adds some old fashioned class and sheen but the relationship/connection between him and Leoni never really feels right even though it isn't suppose to. Even at the very end I just didn't feel it between them which is a shame because they are one of the main focus points in the plot (still a sad moment).
On the other hand the drama kicking off in space is managed expertly by Duvall, him and his team really do come across as a proper group of astronauts. This was one aspect I've always like about the movie and that's the combination of the Earth based drama and space set drama, both of which are solid and gel perfectly. I was also impressed how the story is handled, it never crosses your mind that the space shuttle crew might not make it back, sure you know there's always gonna be redshirt character in there but you always assume they will be the heroes and get home. I guess this is what makes their sacrifice so powerful towards the finale, it surprises you, hits you hard, and in that brief moment you connect with the small team one human to another.
I'm sure there are probably some scientific bits that aren't overly accurate too but in general this movie feels very realistic, looks very realistic and manages to cover the stark reality of humanity having to face extinction exceptionally well in the countdown to the end of the world.
The whole nightmare neighbours thing has been done to death, anyone… MoreThe whole nightmare neighbours thing has been done to death, anyone remember the Aykroyd and Belushi movie 'Neighbours' from 1981? There are other examples that vary on the premise but the idea is old hat, this movie uses the old frat house theme against the homely couple which in itself is not entirely original. None the less its an opportunity to see Rogen act like a beer swilling unkempt overweight slob and...oh wait, that's not entirely original either.
So the young-ish couple with a baby living in some huge huge detached house in suburbia are horrified when the other huge huge detached house next door gets turned into a frat house. This kind of thing doesn't really happen in the UK, we don't have frat houses and the concept does sound quite ludicrous frankly although I'm sure this situation has been exaggerated. Most folk in the UK don't live in detached mansions either by the way. At first the young couple get on with the party mad...err frat guys/people, but sure enough tensions mount and eventually the situation boils over into a feud.
I kinda found this film to be along the same lines as the comedy 'Identity Thief'. Now when I say comedy I use that term loosely as both movies revolve around situations that aren't really funny, this is how I see them as similar. In reality if this happened to you (either movies plot) it would be horrible, a real nightmare, thusly watching this film kinda made me feel uncomfortable, I actually felt tense and nervous because the whole scenario is just nasty.
Sure there are amusing moments...kinda, at first everything is sorta OK but you know it won't last of course. It starts with simple noise pollution as the teens party all night long, little jibes here and there, nothing too bad. Then as things start to heat up Rogen's character attacks the frat house causing bad water damage which the lads somehow manage to fix by selling...dildos?! they make about 10K I think it was...wut?! From there on various things happen which just aren't particularly funny, nothing really seriously malicious like horrific serve vandalism but just dangerous pranks like somehow setting up Rogen's car airbags to go off on his work seat. How on earth did they manage to get into his work place and do that? let alone find out where he works. The same could be said for the airbag pranks inside Rogen's house...how? plus would they really make a fully grown male as heavy as Rogen fly in the air like that? it all seems illogical and it looked stupid.
I guess the whole thing just feels completely predictable and like something we've seen before many times over the decades, oh wait we have. All the usual drinking pot smoking visual gags, the nerdy older couple trying to be cool and mix in with the younger kids by dressing idiotically and talking like some street wise surfer rap hoodies (am I showing myself up to be out of touch with that comment?). The party montages are the usual epileptic fit inducing variety with hot scantily cad chicks, neon lights, dance floor grinding, insane activities and close ups of Rogen's bare disgusting hairy gut.
What's really kinda weird is the young frat guys keep threatening to do things to get back at Rogen and co yet they never really do much accept for the airbag jokes and just being plainly annoying. The film keeps building up the plot as though something epic is gonna happen but nothing really does. Then in the end after the frat house is shut down and you'd think the frat boys (mainly Efron's character) would be really pissed and out for revenge, he just makes up with Rogen as if nothing ever happened! I was like...that's it?!" after all that you just shake and be friends! what was the point of all this again?
I like Rogen I really do, he can be a funny guy, a good average Joe type fella in solid everyday bloke type movies, he's relatable. This just feels like a vain ego trip (seeing as he produced it) which just doesn't work and feels totally forced. Trying too hard and coming across as overbearing with the attempted laughs, get a new schtick Rogen.
So after the somewhat mediocre affair of the first film the boys are… MoreSo after the somewhat mediocre affair of the first film the boys are back for more vulgar adventures, this time down under. That's pretty much my whole synopsis right there, this film is virtually the same spiel as the first film but set in Australia, game over.
The film follows on from the last movie with Simon having relationship issues with the girl he met in Malia and Will doesn't seem to be with the nice blonde he met in Malia anymore. Neil has also moved on from his girl but Jay has run off to Oz to find the chubby bird he also met in Malia. So most of what happened in the last movie has been jettisoned for a clean slate and basically the story revolves around Jay going after his bird from the first movie.
No sooner have the guys met up in Oz and discovered Jay is actually working in a nightclub toilet (nicely done), Will bumps into an old flame and all four are dragged off up the eastern coast to Bryon Bay following her. After a slow start the story does pick up a bit when we meet Jay's uncle in Australia, I can't deny the obligatory stereotypical beer swilling racist foul mouthed Aussie is a hoot if somewhat predictable with the verbal gags. From there on the movie does nail each and every stereotype perfectly from the guitar playing, bead wearing, bracelet adorned, backpacking UK hippies with their silly head wear and earrings.
I guess its no surprise the whole film is one big predictable cliche, we all know that right, we know to expect that but does this make for a fun flick? In all honesty no it doesn't, I still can't quite work out how or why this film has done so well here in the UK, well I know why...its because the TV show was so popular and it has a huge following that's why. I must declare I found myself second guessing almost every scene, every line of dialog and every gag, the whole scenario, the whole setup...everything was just so formulaic and predictable it really felt quite lame dare I say.
Sure there are scenes and lines that made me laugh of course. The most horrendous of these must be the lumps of poo shooting down the water chute after Neil has an accident at the top. This wasn't exactly funny...more utterly disgusting as the lumps of poo did look very real and the fact they hit Simon in the face followed by him gushing vomit did leave me actually gagging. Seeing Jay wanking under the covers as Will comes close to getting laid was very amusing, the lads getting stranded in the outback brings up some good lines despite the fact you knew right from the start that whole scenario was [b]bound[/b] to happen and Will having a spiritual campfire moment (and outburst) with the hippies was quite good.
I did find myself enjoying this in places but generally it all felt extremely repetitive in my opinion. Its all a thinly disguised rehash of the first movie, the plot is near identical and follows the same routine. The lads try to get in with the pretty folk, one or two of them manage to nab a sexy bird somehow, they all fall out over silly issues, they almost get their leg over but end up getting dumped in the end for a jock and then finally making up with each other. Hell even the verbal and visual gags are almost the same stuff rehashed but just slightly altered, instead of the 'pussay patrol' its now the 'banter brigade', worth a giggle but meh. The location this time made things more interesting and visually more exciting which I liked although I wish more had been set in the wilds of the outback. The short teaser trailers did tend to make you think that but alas twas no more than a tease.
The finale is again all the same guff from the first movie literately scene for scene including the end credit extras, plus it does feel like they shoehorned in as many cast regulars from the TV show as possible when they didn't really need to be there (Jay's dad?). In the end I do think this is better than the first movie outing but only marginally. The Aussie setting is great but lets be honest here...this film could of been set anywhere as they don't really take much advantage of that Aussie factor. I do believe (personally) that this franchise has now run its course and should quite while its ahead, its become very repetitive and making another in yet another location may not succeed.