3/14/11

HALL PASS - REVIEW


Whatever happened to the Farrelly Brothers?

Now don't get me wrong, these guys were never the Fellini Brothers but for a while they were the go-to guys for gross-out, dumb but cute comedies. But after the genius of Dumb & Dumber, the creativity of There's Something About Mary and the extreme silliness of Me Myself and Irene things got too dumb (Shallow Hal) or too cute (Perfect Catch) leaving the brothers in a sort of comedy no man's land...

Then Hall Pass comes along.

Yes it's set in Providence, yes it's about two buddy idiots...but alas Dumb & Dumber this most certainly isn't. For one thing it's barely funny. Barring a couple of amusing build-ups or observations there's really nothing here to count on laughs-wise. Even the likes of Richard Jenkins, Christina Applegate, Jenna Fischer and Stephen Merchant fail to raise a single smile, it's really quite astonishing.

That said, Owen Wilson is great and manages to create a surprisingly three dimensional character among the poo jokes and sexist humour. He's a selfish dork, yes, but his heart's in the right place and he would definitely benefit from a Hall Pass from his horrid friends!

As for the plot, it's a mess. You've got loads of colourful side characters, 90% of which serve no purpose besides being a joke in themselves. You've got the Stephen Merchant gang, who are forgotten and never seen again about halfway through the film, nothing is convincing, nothing feels new, nothing is creative...it's just a bland comedy chasm of nothingness.

Overall, I don't recommend this. It looks like we'll need to wait a bit longer for the Rhode Island duo to get back on form. In the meantime, Dumb & Dumber still exists so get some mates, get some beers, get some footlongs and enjoy it because Hall Pass just won't do it I'm afraid.

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