Tag Archives: Dave Franco

22 Jump Street

Rewind back to 2012 before 21 Jump Street was released. It was the hit no one was expecting. After all it was based on a tv series with a ridiculous premise. It had that guy-Jonah Hill- from Superbad, before he was Oscar nominated and although everyone knew Channing Tatum was hot, and those of us who saw A Guide to Recognising Your Saints knew he could act, no one knew if he was funny. But then it was released, became a huge hit and most of all it was hilarious. But now that expectations are higher can the crew at Jump Street strike gold for a second time?

Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are undercover again, this time as college students looking for the dealer of a new drug WHYPHY. But they struggle dealing with their new college lifestyle and maintaining their friendship at the same time. Will they get the dealers and still be friends?

As you can imagine no one in this film is taking themselves too seriously but they do take being funny as serious business, so cue lots of jokes about how ridiculous it is that there’s a sequel to this movie and how “second missions” are never as good the second time around. They are only bigger and more expensive than the first. Although they playfully acknowledge how similar everything is to the first movie the jokes are not a repeat of the first film.

Happily Tatum and Hill make for a great “power couple” once again. Hilariously facing relationship troubles due to Tatum’s new bromance with fellow jock Zook (Wyatt Russell-son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn), cue a very jealous Schmidt. It’s also great to have Ice Cube as Captain Dickinson  back again with a brand new flash office across the road at 22 Jump Street, who also hammers it home how expensive everything is for the “second mission”. Theres also great cameos from Dave Franco and Rob Riggle from the first film.

The only thing that perhaps is missing from this film is the surprise element that the original had. No one was expecting it to be any good which made the laughs even more hilarious. While the jokes are still funny in this one I don’t think they come at quite a ferocious pace as the previous installment. However considering the state of most sequels now a days the fact that this one manages to be good in its own right is enough of an achievement.

Stay for the end credits to get some ideas on what future installments of Jump Street could look like. Is it wrong that I would actually want to see a lot of them?

Rating 4/5 – a great comedy with a brilliant double act in Hill and Tatum

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Bad Neighbours (2014)

Everybody needs good neighbours hey? Except we often don’t get a choice about who moves in next door to us and in the new comedy Bad Neighbours (released as Neighbours in the US) we see what happens when a normal couple get lumbered with the neighbours from hell.

Married couple Mac (Seth Rogan) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) have a newborn baby and are struggling to adjust to being responsible adults while their friends are still out enjoying their wild social lives. When a frat house move in next door with all night parties and endless noise, a bitter war between the neighbours soon start to escalate.

Maybe it’s because I have experienced noisy neighbours in the past that I completely sympathised with the main couple’s plight as their new neighbours keep them up all night with their loud antics. It also helps that Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne are a likeable if also flawed couple who are capable of being just as immature as the frat boys. The film isn’t afraid to show their main characters being less than perfect and both sides are shown to take things too far in the battle for the street.

I was glad to see that for once the main female protagonist wasn’t stuck playing the nagging wife role. Instead Kelly is a co-conspirator in the couple’s quest to get the Frat House evicted from their street and gives Byrne a chance to show off her comedic talents. In fact the whole cast put their all into this comedy. The frat boys which include Zac Efron and Dave Franco manage to be crude, rude and in some places strangely likeable. Meanwhile Seth Rogan takes on a lot of the physical comedy that the characters find themselves in and is rewarded for his efforts with plenty of laugh out loud moments.

It’s a shame that like so many films these days the  best jokes are spoiled in the trailers. Some audiences may also find some of the humour can be juvenile at times. While it may not be a classic comedy, it does provide plenty of laughs and leads that you can really root for.

Rating 3.5/5 – a funny,rude and enjoyable comedy

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Now You See Me

I was hugely anticipating this film. Magicians using their skills to pull of crimes. It’s a great idea. But does it live up to my expectations?

Now You See Me is a crime caper following a group of magicians called The Four Horsemen who use their stage show to rob a bank. They come to the attention of FBI and Interpol who start investigating them and asking how four street performers could suddenly have the money and knowledge to commit these crimes. Is there a fifth Horseman pulling the stings?

The best part of this film is  The Four Horsemen themselves, street magician J. Daniel Atlas (Jesse Eisenberg), escape artist and Atlas’ former assistant Henley Reeves (Isla Fisher), new magician Jack Wilder (Dave Franco), and mentalist Merritt McKinney (Woody Harrelson). The film starts off great as we are introduced to these characters, seeing their respective skills and them being brought  together to eventually perform in Vegas.

However overall Now You See Me is a mixed bag of tricks. Director Louis Leterrier has collected a great cast but fails to really use them effectively. The Four Horsemen are an intriguing bunch, unfortunately they get sidetracked in the film so we can follow Mark Ruffalo’s grumpy FBI agent Dylan Rhodes and Interpol detective Alma Dray (Melanie Laurent).  In supporting roles Michael Caine (as the Horsemen’s Vegas investor Arthur Tressler), and Morgan Freeman (as Thaddeus Bradley an ex magician who now reveals the secrets behind the magic) are reliably good as always but they don’t seem to have much to sink their teeth into.

The film starts off strong and The Horsemen’s tricks are involving but they do seem to get bigger and ridiculous as the film goes along, which goes for the film in general. Also a lot of their magic acts are spoiled in the trailers.

The film’s main problem is with the ending.  When you watch a magic trick you want to be blown away  by the performance wondering how the hell they did that and then be amazed by how simple and clever the revelation is about how it was all done. Here the film’s revelations just seem a bit ridiculous and relying a lot on blind luck.

It would have been a much more interesting film if we had been following The Four Horsemen as they perform their tricks while they wonder who they are actually working for. Considering the trailers seem to show the Four Horsemen as the main protagonists it’s a shame they are missing for great chunks of the film. Harrelson, Fisher, Franco and Eisenberg work well together bouncing off each other and light up the screen when they are performing their acts. There are hints at back stories for some of them but not enough for my liking. There is also a great fight scene involving Franco’s Jack, whose uses weapons such as card tricks and sleight of hand to evade capture of two FBI officers.

Perhaps it will be improved on repeated viewings and things might make more sense when you can go through and see how everything was done. However it’s not as good as films such as Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige (which  also starring Michael Caine).

Ratting  3/5

There was potentially a great film about these Four Horsemen but unfortunately this is only an  entertaining but average  one.

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