Review: Movie 43

Movie 43
Richard Gere reads our minds in Movie 43.

Is this the worst film of the 21st Century?
Rating: ZERO

Multi-starrers are generally viewed as a money-making machine. The genre for this is always comedy and the audience is international. Whether it’s a handful actors behaving like monkeys in Priyadarshan films or a group of cons pulling off an Oceans Eleven-like heist, multi-starrers are predominantly built on how big the fan base is. Multi-starrers also led to the creation of rat packs (60s), frat packs (80s) and then brat packs (90s-00s).

The original Oceans Eleven not only starred rat packers Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis. Jr. and Joey Bishop, but also had cameos from Cesar Romero, Buddy Lester and Shirley MacLaine. The 2001 remake also claimed top prize with a glorious cast of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and Andy Garcia to start with.

Having said that Movie 43 is a tasteless film that unites a huge star cast through a series of hapless and sexually disgusting vignettes. The whole film is co-directed and produced by Peter Farrelly, who has traveled a long distance from There’s Something About Mary, which clearly remains the best comedy film from the Farrelly brothers. The cast ensemble includes prominent names such as Hugh Jackman, Kate WInslet, Richard Gere, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Anna Faris, Uma Thurman, Seann William Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Emma Stone, Kristen Bell, Naomi Watts and Jason Sudeikis.

From the moment you see a pair of testicles hanging beneath Jackman’s chin, you realize this is gonna be a weird ride. The best you can do is get out of the cinema and watch Iron Man 3 instead. Movie 43 puts you through a cinematic catastrophe that’s gonna haunt you forever if you continue watching it.

The actors perform blithely, grabbing hold of the 15 minutes given to them and doing the most they could to turn this movie into a bigger nightmare. Whether it’s Anna Faris’ lust for poop or Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant’s kiddish truth or dare moments, Movie 43 is garbage that even the municipality will ignore to clean up. Imagine a dog messes up your carpet and you casually walk by it every day without the slightest interest to clean it.

Movie 43 reminded me of another multi-starrer Couples Retreat which starred Vince Vaughn, Kevin James and Justin Bateman. That film had a paper thin storyline blown out of proportions to make a 100-minute junk. I’d watch that or even a combination of Madea films to avoid Movie 43.

Gore, violence, unwanted nudity and tasteless vulgarity are some of the elements Movie 43 is made of. I’m pretty sure you can figure out the rest upon reading this review.

Review: The International

Clive Owen and Naomi Watts in The International
Clive Owen and Naomi Watts in The International

Noirish, Stylish and Gritty

The International (R)

Director: Tom Twyker

Cast: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts

Rating: ****

Clive Owen has done many wonderful roles in films like Derailed, Closer and Sin City. We have seen him don strict action roles in Shoot Em Up which became a critical failure for him. However, the actor lives up with The International, which is a realistic action thriller.

Yes, in a time of global recession the script has won some wages and Tom Twyker has directed it. The film is about the Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandal. The screenplay is by Eric Singer who dedicatedly sticks to the plot and doesn’t deviate out of it. Mathilde Bonnafey’s rapid fire editing is a boon to this slick action thriller which at times moves more like Twyker’s previous film Run Lola Run.

The film opens with Interpol agent Louis Salinger trying his best to catch a hitman who works for a fictional bank IBBC (reverse of the original bank’s name). As he moves a few notches up in finding the crook, all of his contacts die. He is unable to find or maintain a particular contact. Here comes Eleanor Whitman, an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. The couple cue many questions but still they aren’t going anywhere. They’re stuck with the same issues. Shootouts occur less while assassinations are larger. The sniper kill of the Italian prime ministerial candidate is a good one. The shootout at Guggenheim is explosive. But, the only thing is that this looks realistic. Clive Owen in Shoot Em Up killed around a hundred men and never got a scratch on his body. This time he gets hit badly and manages to shoot and kill three or four only. Well, the set recreation of the Guggenheim spirals is unbelievable. Only, the museum wouldn’t want to turn itself into a place of blood and corpses.

At some sequences we feel the agitation of Clive Owen. For instance, he speaks less and shoots less. Also, he slaps a dead man and tries to check if he’s still alive. Owen however looks the same and sports the usual scrawny beard. Naomi Watts as Eleanor Whitman pulls off a better performance. However, the two don’t seem good as a pair. The film’s climax portrays the best noir ever. The ending shot of the sunrays hitting high on a confused and clueless Clive Owen will send you rolling.

The film offers a little humor. The scene where Watts and Owen discuss in an elevator is a good promo to keep the audience entertained. I noticed that Owen feels more like a superhero who gets hit constantly and never gets a chance to fight back. That is a little degrading.

The film’s visuals are the best. Clive Owen acts more like Jason Bourne when the locations keep changing. However, some ‘nice-to-have’ shots have been excluded to keep the film in its glorious action thriller genre.

The International is a must-watch for its story, Clive Owen, visuals and fine action.