|SHADOWS ON THE WALL | REVIEWS | NEWS | FESTIVAL | AWARDS | Q&A | ABOUT | TALKBACK|
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E||
dir Andy Tennant|
scr John Claflin, Daniel Zelman, Andy Tennant
with Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, Donald Sutherland, Ray Winstone, Ewen Bremner , Alexis Dziena, Kevin Hart, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Brian Hooks, David Roberts, Michael Mulheren, Adam LeFevre
release US 8.Feb.08, UK 18.Apr.08
08/US Warner 1h53
Over-tanned and over-fit: Hudson and McConaughey
INTERVIEW WITH HUDSON, McCONAUGHEY & TENNANT
The idiocy on display in this film is almost breathtaking, both in the characters and the plot. But it's also far more entertaining than those slickly pretentious Hollywood thrillers.
Finn (McConaughey) is a treasure-hunter in Key West who's in a world of trouble. His wife Tess (Hudson) is about to divorce him, just as he's been threatened with death by his loan shark (Hart). But he and his even dumber sidekick (Bremner) have just found the 18th century Spanish shipwreck Finn and Tess were always searching for, so he convinces Tess and her new billionaire boss (Sutherland) to help him recover the loot. But he's got to beat his old pal Moe (Winstone) to it, and avoid the loan shark's goons (Warner, Hooks and Roberts).
This bloated bit of cinematic fluff doesn't really work on any level. The cast overact their way through every scene, with McConaughey as the worst offender and a three-way battle between Sutherland, Winstone and Bremner for the Silliest Accent Award (Bremmer's goofy Ukrainian wins only because Sutherland's over-posh Brit is almost convincing and Winstone abandons the Southern gent routine after about three scenes). Meanwhile, Hudson is actually rather good at this kind of rubbish, and somehow manages to maintain a shred of dignity.
Meanwhile, director-cowriter Tenant tries far too hard to crank up both the comedy and suspense. But neither emerge as the film is constantly sabotaged by cheesy dialog and hammy acting. Much of the action is a strained rehash of Pirates of the Caribbean gags, but no matter how crazed it gets, we're never in any doubt about how it'll end. We even brace ourselves for the lame sentiment that's bound to accompany the predictable conclusion.
That said, there are some terrific moments scattered here and there, mainly in the interaction between Hudson and Dziena (as Sutherland's socialite daughter), which highlights that no matter how inept the women look, the men are pure morons. And along the way there are several scenes that are corny enough to make us laugh at these over-tanned, over-fit people and their deeply implausible adventure. In other words, it's the definition of mindless entertainment.
|Still waiting for your comments ... don't be shy.|
© 2008 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
HOME | REVIEWS | NEWS | FESTIVAL | AWARDS | Q&A | ABOUT | TALKBACK