Tag Archives: Zac Efron

Baywatch

Baywatch_poster

In this reboot of the popular 90’s TV series Baywatch a team of lifeguards led by Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) attempt to foil a drugs plot while also dealing with cocky new recruit Matt Brody (Zac Efron). Can they catch they catch the bad guy and keep their beach safe?

As a kid I loved Baywatch from the opening theme song (“Some people stand in the darkness…”) and the ridiculousness of the slow running lifeguards. I was hoping that the reboot would be fresh and funny like the 21 Jump Street movie managed to be. Unfortunately while I think they were trying to reach that level Baywatch falls far short. The majority of jokes are just not funny, revolving around crude body humour and relying on swearing as punch lines. It doesn’t help that the female characters are criminally underserved given the thinnest of characterisation and sidelined for the most of the heroics, yet Mitch, Brody and the dorky Ronnie (Jon Bass, whose given a number of unfunny moments in the film) all perform heroics in the big climax while the women are left on the sidelines. After the amazing heroics of Wonder Woman this is a cold reminder that Hollywood still sees females as beautiful bystanders.

It’s not all bad news though there are flashes of good jokes that find their way through. As usual Johnson retains his charm and star charisma while Zac Efron does his best with the material and at least has a character arc throughout the film. As head villain duties Priyanka Chopra (star of the great TV series Quantico) oozes charisma and glamour though she’s underused like the rest of the female cast.

Rating 2/5 – unfunny and unoriginal, this reboot sinks on arrival

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Rapid Review: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Mike_and_Dave_Need_Wedding_Dates

As the self explainitary title suggests Mike (Adam DeVine) and Dave (Zac Efron) need respectable wedding dates for their sister’s wedding. As they don’t know where to find such girls they put an ad on Craigslist (strangely that part is based on a true story). Their prayers are answered when they meet two seemingly clean cut girls, Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick). Howver these girls may be more trouble then the boys can handle.

Ok so Mike and Dave Need Weeding Dates is not big and it’s not clever but it did make me laugh. The four leads gamely give the film their all, DeVine and Plaza get most of the rudest material while Efron and Kendrick get the more likeably sweet but still badly behaved characters. I enjoyed the fact that the girls are as outrageous (and maybe even worse) than the boys and provide just as much laughs with their antics.

However the laughs do overly rely on crude humour, sex jokes and nudity to get laughs, which becomes a bit repetitive over the course of the movie. If it could have tried to branch out in it’s humour it would have been more successful. But then nobody who saw the trailers were probably expecting highbrow humour.

Rating 3/5 – rude and crude, probably best enjoyed on a night out with your friends

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Rapid Review-Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising

Bad Neighbours 2

Bad Neighbours (or Neighbors for the US audience) was a hit back in 2014 and its success at the box office meant a sequel was guarantied. But will the new neighbors be welcomed?

After a few years of peace Mac (Seth Rogan) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are in the process of selling their house but their dreams are shattered when a sorority decides to move in next door. Fearing their house sell will be in jeopardy and unable to reason with the girls, Mac and Kelly turn to the one person who can help them- their old enemy Teddy (Zac Efron).

If you liked the first movie then you are probably going to enjoy the sequel-which is just as well considering it’s basically a repeat of the same plot as last time. The themes are pretty similar too -fear of growing up or behaving responsibly, Mac and Kelly behaving as irresponsible as the kids. The ending also wraps up everything a bit too conveniently.

However while it doesn’t score high on originality I did find it to be consistently funny all the way through. The antics and pranks may be immature but they did make me chuckle. And the Sorority girls are are surprisingly likeable and funny additions to the already amusing cast.

Rating 3.5/5 -unorginal it may be but it is funny

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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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That Awkward Moment

Romantic comedies have had something of a facelift of recent years, with studios feeling the pressure to appeal to both male and female comedies (becuase girls are only interested in rom-coms about shoes and getting married obviously-but thats another post).  So with that in mind That Awkward Moment aims to appeal to both sexes, with a look at bromances and plenty of nudity and sex alongside the romance. But will this tactic work, and more importantly be funny? 

When their friend Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) find outs his wife wants  a divorce, his best pals Jason (Zac Efron) and Daniel (Miles Teller) make a pact to stay single with him. However soon all three are left in complicated romantic entaglements that threaten their quest for singlehood.

You can probably tell from the synopisis whether or not this will be your type of film. On the positive side, the bromance between the three guys works, which is good as a lot of time is spent in their company, and the three leads make a believeable group of friends. Their respective romances meanwhile has mixed results.

Although there were some chemsitry between Jason (Efron) and Ellie (Imogine Potts) and their romance had some sweet and funny moments, the main problem is that Jason is a major douche. I just didn’t think Ellie should accept Jason back after he blows her off when she really needs him. It was bad enough he mistook her for a prostitute (in one of the many moments that don’t come across as believeable) after they first slept together, are we really meant to believe she would then take him back for something even more unforgiveable later? He would have to work a lot harder than that.

Luckily the other two guys were more likebale with Mikey being the most sympathetic of the three and Daniel being probably the funniest. In fact I was more invested with Daniel’s relationship with gal pal Chelsea (Mckensie Davis) than with Jason and Ellie. While you really feel for Mikey as he gets messed around by his ex wife and struggles to get bakc into the dating world, his situation with his wife is a bit predictable and doesn’t really go anywhere that interesting.

Sometimes the script has a tendancy to replace comedy and character development with crude jokes about sex and hopes that no one will notice. It’s this overeliance which may alienate some viewers. It feels at times that the filmakers were not confident enough with its talented cast and kept putting in the dick jokes just in case.

I expect my opinion will be in the minority as I’ve seen this film get a lot of hate since it’s been released, and yes it’s not particularly original or mind-blowingly hilarious. However for me, That Awkward Moments does have enough funny set peieces and one liners to stop it slipping into just another crude, witless comedy.

Rating 3/5-a fun if not hugely original or realistic take on modern relationships

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