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Monday, August 13, 2012

The Change-Up - Review (2012)

Chocolate pudding.  Yep, chocolate pudding.  That is what got this film off on the wrong foot.  I did not go in with high expectations and chocolate pudding lowered them.  The scene is a father (Jason Bateman) struggling while changing a diaper - as he bends down to pick up the diaper the baby craps on him.  Not funny.  And the bigger crime, the gag is not even gross out funny.  The reason, the director wimped out and used what is easily identifiable as chocolate pudding.  That simply will not work.  It is not funny, not gross, not good.  When a filmmaker cop-outs so early in a film it prepares you for the worst - where else will he/she cut corners.

The story is about two life long friends with very different lifestyles, one a successful, responsible business/family man, the other a jobless, responsiblity-less bachelor (Ryan Reynolds) magically swap bodies after peeing in a fountain at the same time while muttering how they wished they had each other's life.  Sadly, this overused premise is never engaging, delivers few laughs and even less storyline surprises.  The jokes are tame and the few that would have been offered a chuckle were used for the trailer.  It just makes me think it is time to revert to some of the older trailer techniques.  Today's trailers not only use the funniest moments while they could simply tease them, they also tend to spoil the film.  Sure we may not see the resolution, but at times we are exposed to almost everything leading up to it.  Let me get back on track though - this film is a disappointment.  There are plenty of jokes, they just are not intelligent or funny...mostly just crude.  The whole time the director must assume the audience is as dumb as the characters he put on screen, otherwise he would not have made such a stupid film.  Besides that, none of the characters are likable and this re-hashed story has been done better before.  Want to watch a good identity swapping film watch "Big," "Face-off" or "Trading Place." 4 out of 10 stars. 

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