The Impostors Reviews
After incurring the wrath of an overrated drunken actor, the two mistakenly stow away aboard an ocean liner where the actor after them also happens to be. And not only do they get caught up with having to avoid him, but they find themselves continually caught up in a series of ever escalating over-the-top madcap shenanigans involving the eclectic passengers and crew of the ship, many of whom aren't what they initially seem, hence the film's title being The Impostors.
In many ways this feels like a high class Woody Allen film that Woody didn't write and direct. Interestingly enough, he actually makes a hilarious uncredited cameo here. This is a real love letter to the 30s slapstick comedies, as well as the silent era, as evidenced by the film's opening scene.
All in all I liked it. I'm not a huge fan of slapstick, but I found this to be overwhelmingly charming, funny, and absurd. There's really not much of a plot, but I think that's more of a benefit than a detriment. It's really hard to care too much about many of these people, but I don't think that's the point. I think the main focus is just on the absurd and ridiculous comedy of life, and how existence is full of all kinds of diverse and nutty people.
And the cast is where this film really shines. Besides Tucci and Platt, there's also Steve Buscemi, Billy Connolly, Campbell Scott, Allison Janney, Richard Jenkins, Alfred Molina, Elizabeth Bracco, Lili Taylor, Hope Davis, Dana Ivey, Tony Shaloub, Isabella Rossellini, and a few others I'm probably forgetting. They all seem to be having an absolute blast here, and exhibit some great chemistry, as well as a flair for the material.
The period details are pretty decent, there's a wonderfully nostalgic score, and the overall sense of energy and fun is just bursting all over the place.
It did take me a bit to get into things, and I was a bit taken back until I realized what type of movie this was going to be, but once I got into it, and things really kicked in, I ended up having a pretty good time, and think you might enjoy it as well.
I find it very unsettling to see Billy Connolly as a sex crazed gay man, though. As funny as it is.
Starring: Oliver Platt, Stanley Tucci, Alfred Molina, Campbell Scott, Tony Shalhoub, and Lili Taylor
Director: Stanley Tucci
When a pair of down-and-out actors (Platt and Tucci) inadvertently stow away onboard a crusie ship, they engage in a series of deceptions to avoid being caught by Nazi-like ship's steward (Scott), to get revenge on a hammy rival they hate (Molina), and to stop a crazed revolutionary (Shalhoub) from blowing up the ship to assassinate a single passenger.
"The Impostors" is a fun movie that manages to capture the zaniness and frenetic energy of the 1930s comedies from the likes of Laurel & Hardy and the Marx Brothers. For the most part, the script plays as though it could have been written in that period, and the actors mostly perform as though they were in a movie from those days. It's a great ride if you enjoy the screwy comedies of that period.
It's not perfect, however. Some of the actors (with Steve Bucemi being the greatest offender of these) don't manage to convey either the stylr or the energy of the 1930s comedic film actors, and the the script occassionally drags or lets routines go on just long enough to allow them to cross from funny into dull.
This film feels through and through like it's a "fan-film" made as a tribute to the great comedies of the black-and-white era of cinema. However, it's an excellently photographed film, with mostly great performances and a script that's above average despite a few rough spots. I recommend it if you love those old, crazy movies.