Friday, November 18, 2011
This is one of those movies that looks like a complete mess from the beginning but it somehow comes together and is actually entertaining. Just as with all Brett Ratner movies, this is a very entertaining movie but it offers no subtext or depth, so it is not a truly memorable movie. Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Matthew Broderick, and Michael Pena all give solid performances in the movie. They are handcuffed by an overly "safe" script that took no chances whatsoever and a director who really seems to have no idea what he is doing. This the perfect fall movie because it allows people to have a few laughs and have an enjoyable experience in the theater in an otherwise dreary movie season.
The movie deals with a Bernie Madoff type situation where an entire apartment building's staff has lost all of their savings because of a "trusted" tenant's advice on investing. Stiller, Pena, and Affleck play hotel employees who decide to get their money back after one of their coworkers tries to commit suicide because he had lost all of his money including his retirement fund at the hands of the tenant. They then enlist a former tenant of the building, Broderick, and a local crook, Murphy, to teach them the ropes of the financial industry and how to be crooks. The movie plays out along genre stereotypes but there are some good twists towards the end of the movie. The ensemble cast is the strength of the movies because each of the cast members brings their own style of comedy to the table and each does a solid job in their respective roles. Pena was easily the funniest part of the movie, he absolutely stole every scene that he was in. His lines about the rules at the "BK" were hilarious.
This is a movie that is very relevant for society's current situation where many believe that the rich are stealing from the poor and the rich are untouchable. This is a comedic take on the situation but there are times in the movie where there are more serious situations presented and the movie does an effective job of portraying them. The point where they show a character trying to commit suicide after he loses his savings is a turning point in the movie but also sheds light on this occurring in our current society on a daily basis. The actors in the movie do an effective job of showing how serious the situation they are in is.
There is really not a lot to say about this movie because it is simply a action packed comedic joyride. Ratner still has no idea how to effectively direct a movie but his actors are experienced enough to overcome this fact and produce a good movie. Pena is the scene stealer of the movie and I hope he gets more starring comedic roles. This movie deserves a 7/10, solid but not perfect.