Director: Ben Falcone
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Ella Anderson, Tyler Labine
A titan of industry is sent to prison after she’s caught insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget. (Source: IMDb)
Despite hearing some pretty bad reviews about this movie, I went in with low expectations and an open mind. For me, Melissa McCarthy films have been variable. She was terrific in Bridesmaids, the film which first brought her to my attention, and 2015’s spoof espionage comedy, Spy, was surprisingly great.
Like most people though, I am getting a little tired of McCarthy’s shtick, but she when she tones down the “McCarthy-ness” she can still be very funny, and there’s a couple of moments in this film that are very funny; the best being an outrageously ridiculous teeth-whitening scene very early into the film.
The supporting cast have very little to do, but Kristen Bell in particular stood out. She has great, subtle comic timing, and a pretty good rapport with McCarthy. Peter Dinklage is as great as always, but he never has enough to do.
Like most of McCarthy’s films, there is far too much reliance on her being the powerhouse, and unfortunately this film is in the lower tier of her films. It’s better than Tammy, but nowhere near as good as Spy or Bridesmaids.
The idea of McCarthy as an outrageous, wealthy, Trump-esque mogul is entertaining on paper, and for me, her fall from grace in this film happened far too early, and there wasn’t enough groundwork put in to establish this character. This meant that from the off, I didn’t really care about her, feel any way invested in the plot, and most importantly for a comedy, I wasn’t laughing.
Despite its handful of funny moments, this film is nowhere near funny enough as it could’ve and indeed should’ve been. It tries to do far too much, shoe-horning in some duff sentimentality, family bonding and a totally unnecessary finale. There could’ve been a fun female-empowerment side plot but it just resorts to slapstick and unnecessary cursing meaning any attempt at establishing this theme is quashed pretty quickly.
It’s messy, mostly unfunny, and sadly does nothing to help me think that Melissa McCarthy can make a good movie. Unfortunately now there’s more bad movies with her as the star than there are good ones.
I saw this movie so you don’t have to. I don’t doubt this movie will find its audience, and those who enjoy McCarthy’s films will probably enjoy this as well, but for me it just wasn’t as funny as it could’ve been, tried to do too much plot wise, and with far too much reliance on McCarthy to carry the entire film. Give this one a miss and watch Spy again instead.
Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a totally misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Let me know in the comments below!