I kind of put this in that category of it's so bad, it's good. Nick Cage plays a guy that is hunting down a man. Why? Well, you don't know at first. It's all kind of revealed gradually, so I won't spoil too much here. You have William Fichtner, as "The Accountant", tracking Nick Cage down. It becomes clear early on that The Accountant is some kind of supernatural being, which brings into question what exactly Nick Cage is. Nick Cage picks up a tough waitress, played by Amber Heard, who agrees to come along with him.
They drive around (angrily apparently), shoot stuff up, fight, etc. The action is actually pretty good. This was shot in 3D, so you get a lot stuff thrown at the camera throughout the film.
The highlight here is William Fichtner. He's really great as The Accountant and easily the best part of the movie. You can tell he really enjoyed himself making this and he's just chewing up scenery. I've always felt he was an underappreciated actor and movies like this show why.
I was kind of upset that we didn't get the over-the-top Nick Cage here. This movie would have been perfect for it. He's much more subdued here.
Don't get me wrong, this is not a good movie, but I actually enjoyed the hell out of this. Get it! Hell! Do you see what I did there?
If you're in the mode for a dumb, action film, then give this a rental.
Sean Bean plays Boromir...er, um... I mean Ulric. Seriously though, he's wearing the same outfit from Lord of the Rings. This movie is set in medieval England during the plague. Borom...I mean Ulric and his group are trying to track down someone they believe to be a necromancer and is living in a town that is somehow untouched by the plague. They recruit a monk, played by Eddie Redmayne (which is an awesome name for a Viking, except he's not a Viking) to go with them. The monk happened to have been looking for a sign to leave the monastery, as he had secretly fallen in love with a woman and wanted to follow after her. He takes the opportunity to follow Ulric as they needed someone from the Church on their quest.
They eventually find the city where the necromancer is living. That's about as far as I can get without spoiling major plot points.
There are some gruesome deaths in the movie that fans of movies like Braveheart will enjoy, but I felt like that stuff came too far and between. The movie felt like it wasn't made on a very large budget, that's probably why they asked Sean Bean to be in the movie. I'm sure they were like, "Hey, he might still have his LotR outfit in a closet somewhere. That should save us a few bucks!"
Ultimately, I liked it. They did some interesting things with the story and kind of left a few things up for you to interpret at the end
I'd say it's worth renting.
The problem I have with this movie is that the entire premise is implausible. Do you know anyone, in a 'normal' relationship, that has ever actually been granted a Hall Pass? Neither have I. It's like making a movie who's premise is that you actually get to meet and sleep with one of the celebrities on your top five free pass list. It never happens. Actually, that wouldn't make for a bad movie if done right. I'm trademarking that here, right now! June 15th, 2011. I just wrote up a one page draft. I'm totally cereal.
I think the other part that's hard for me to wrap my head around is that the wives, played by the always adorable Jenna Fischer and the still doable Christina Applegate, are two women that I think most guys would be pretty happy to be married to. Their husbands, played by Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis, are shlubby and dorky, who think that they would just be rolling deep in women if it weren't for their wives. I have a hard time identifying with the guys because of this. Anyway, the wives cleary understand that their husband's really have no chance with the ladies, which is why I think they go through with the hall pass in the first place.
They did do a few things right here. It was funny to see how guys that have been married for a long time and out of the game find that they don't have it anymore. They spend their first few nights of freedom just going to places like Applebee's and then going to bed early. As a guy, unless you are going to clubs and trying to hookup, it's hard to set something up in just a week, unless you get lucky with a slutty waitress or something.
I'm also glad they touched on the fact that the wives are the ones that had a much easier time finding someone in that week's timeframe, cause lets face it, that's the reality of it. If you're a resonably attractive woman, there's almost always some horny guy waiting for an opportunity to throw himself at you. The same can't be said for men. That's my experience anyway.
It ultimately tries to be sweet, like they were trying to make their own version of a Judd Apatow movie, and I think it failed on that front. I guess you could argue that Apatow was just doing better versions Farrelly Brothers movies though. Anyway, it's really uneven. There are some good laughs, but then are large stretches where you feel like there's nothing funny at all. There's some gross out stuff that may either make you laugh hysterically, or be disgusted. The Farrelly Brothers don't seem to have the magic touch they had back in the There's Something About Mary days.
If you aren't a fan of the recent trend of male frontal nudity in comedy films, then there's a scene in this you really won't be into. They do balance it out with some nice female frontal nudity though. Either way, it was unnecessary.
If you do watch this, make sure you watch through the credits, as the best part of the movie happens then.
I'd only say to rent this if you are absolutely bored and have nothing else to do. Otherwise, wait for streaming or cable. Even then, it's still not for everyone.
Kill the Irishman
Here's another one for fans of docu-dramas about gangsters. This is like Goodfellas, but starring an Irish American. This is the story of Danny Green, who was a real gangster in Cleveland back in the 60-70's. He basically starts out taking over a union and slowly getting himself involved in the mob and eventually competing and warring against them. He's befriended by local mobster, played by Vincent D'Onofrio, and gains the backing of a loan shark, played by Christopher Walken.
Danny Green is played by Ray Stevenson, who you might remember at Titus Pullo from the Rome series or in the last Punisher film (but nobody saw that). He's the best part about the movie for me and it's easy to follow him.
The problem with the movie is that there are plot points that are introduced and then just abandoned without any resolution or explanation. The movie seems to jump around almost too quickly. Val Kilmer is in this movie and his character seemed totally thrown into the movie. He had so little to do and almost nothing to do with the main story other than being the narrator.
This is an example of a movie that actually should have bee a little longer, so they could have explained certain things better and not jumped around so quickly. It probably would have been more interesting. The run time is about and hour and 45 minutes, but it seems an even two hours might have told a more complete story.
It's not a bad movie. If like movies like Goodfellas and Casino, then I think you'll get some entertainment value out of this. Just don't expect to be wowed and understand going in that certain things won't be explained well.
It's worth a rental though.