Critics Consensus: The Hangover Is Certified Fresh
Plus, Land of the Lost and My Life in Ruins are journeys to nowhere.
This week at the movies, we've got bachelor party mayhem (The Hangover, starring Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms), space-time continuum wackiness (Land of the Lost, starring Will Ferrell and Danny McBride), and travel travails (My Life in Ruins, starring Nia Vardalos and Richard Dreyfuss). What do the critics have to say?
There's nothing wrong with frat house comedy when it's done right. And critics say The Hangover is one of the best in recent years, a wild ride of debauchery and tastelessness that delivers laughs at a frightening clip. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis star as three dudes who just wanted to have a killer bachelor party. However, after a night of hard partying, they have forgotten everything, and the groom (Galifianakis) is nowhere to be found. The pundits say The Hangover is rude and crude, proudly vulgar and often hilarious. It's also Certified Fresh.
There's a fine line between madcap and disorganized, and unfortunately, critics say Land of the Lost is the latter -- and juvenile to boot. Loosely based upon the 1970s TV series of the same name, the film stars Will Ferrell as a washed-up scientist who's been sucked into a vortex and plopped into a bizarre world filled with dinosaurs and other strange and/or lethal creatures. The pundits say Land of the Lost is an uneasy mix of slapstick gags, scatological humor, and overdone special effects. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down Will Ferrell's best-reviewed movies. Also, find out Land of the Lost creators Sid and Marty Kroft's Five Favorite Films.)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding was one of those once-in-a-blue-moon indie hits, and it made its writer and star Nia Vardalos into an unlikely Next Big Thing contender. But her second vehicle, Connie and Carla, was a flop, and critics say her latest, My Life in Ruins, is even slimmer stuff. Vardalos stars as a disheartened woman who takes a job as a tour guide in Greece, where she shows off the beauty of her ancestral homeland to a wacky band of tourists and finds love in the process. The pundits say My Life in Ruins is as sour and charmless as Wedding was appealing, with stereotypical characters, shopworn plotting, and an unconvincing romance.
Also opening this week in limited release:
- Seraphine, a biopic of the housekeeper who became a celebrated painter, is at 90 percent.
- Unmistaken Child, a documentary about a Tibetan monk's search for a reincarnated master, is at 75 percent.
- Away We Go, starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph in a dramedy about two expectant parents and their search for a perfect place to raise their child, is at 68 percent (check out Krasinski's Five Favorite Films here).
- Downloading Nancy, starring Maria Bello and Jason Patric in a dark drama about a woman who exorcises her erotic demons through pain, is at 17 percent.