Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were originally cast as the dual leads in this film before Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg found their way into this double-cross heist film. The eventual switch-up of the cast, and the tone change from action/comedy to action/noir worked out. This won’t mark a best-of list for Washington, but the chemistry is just right between him and Wahlberg. The film is balanced when you factor in villains played by the likes of such actors as Bill Paxton, James Marsden and Edward James Olmos. Throw in the sex appeal of actress Paula Patton. Finish it off with the direction of Baltasar Kormákur, the Icelandic director of the equally cool heist film “Contraband,” who’s coming back for a second go-round with Wahlberg. The film’s dialogue snaps. The action scenes fire from both barrels. The writers do a bang-up job converting the graphic novel, “Boom!” into a film script. This film is a blast and worth a watch.
“The World’s End”
This is the final film in a trilogy that started back in 2004. Somewhere along the way, it became known as the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy or the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy – three comedies mixed with three other genres –all three films directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg and starring Pegg and Nick Frost. It really started when these guys met on the British sitcom “Spaced,” and when the show was canceled, they made the first film in the trilogy, the horror/comedy “Shaun of the Dead.” The success of that film led to the action/comedy “Hot Fuzz,” which brings us to this sci-fi/comedy ending. All three films have reoccurring actors, and all of the projects aim for over-the-top. These films are a continuation and collaboration of a united sense of humor. All three films have great moments that manage to make fun of the genres while honoring them. Let’s just hope the end of this trilogy leads to the beginning of another – worth a watch.
“Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain”
Comedian Hart seems to be setting his trajectory for Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence territory. He’s doing comedies, throwing in a rom-com, a silly film and a buddy-cop flick for good measure. He has TV projects in the works. It’s to be expected from a young talented comedian who’s made all the right friends along the way. But he really puts the pressure on himself when he releases one of his stand-up shows on the big-screen. The truth is Hart seems more down-to-earth when he goes for bigger than life. It could be because he’s not scared to debase himself in his act. It could be because his material is very accessible. It could be because the dude is small and plays the little man role well. Or maybe it’s because he’s got some funny shit to say. Hart isn’t the king of comedy, but he is worth a watch.
Derrick Bracey, for Weekly Surge