Richard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s big releases, “X-Men Apocalypse,” starring Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence, Johnny Depp in “Alice Through the Looking Glass” and “Mr. Right,” starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell.
“Mr. Right” is a rom crime com that plays a bit like “Pitch Perfect” with a very high body count.
Anna Kendrick is Martha, a twenty-something who dumps her boyfriend when he cheats on her. The morning after a wild bender—”I want to do something terrible,” she says.—she it’s love-at-first-sight with a stranger (Sam Rockwell) she meets at a supermarket. He’s a babyface assassin who cold bloodedly murders for money. “Killing is wrong,” he says, “but I’m not perfect.” Part Bruce Lee, part James Bond, he’s as lethal as he is charming. Ignoring the obvious warning signs—he won’t tell her his name and jokes about killing people—she falls for him and is only slightly conflicted on their third day together when she sees him shoot a man. “Are you upset that I killed that guy?” he says. “How I feel about that guy has nothing to do with how I feel about you.” They flirt, banter back and forth and after some metaphysical weapons training are a committed couple. “When I was little I had a dream I was dating Lex Luther,” she coos. Now if only the squads of hitmen sent to kill him would lay off, the couple could decide whether she is his weakness or the Bonnie to his Clyde or both.
Other movies have trod this path. “Something Wild,” “Grosse Pointe Blank” and “True Romance” all mix affection with offing, and all do it better than “Mr. Right.” What this movie has going for it is a handful of clever lines—for instance, Rockwell’s dusty charm is described as “fancy homeless”—and two people who know how to deliver them, Kendrick and Rockwell. Despite a seventeen-year age gap, or maybe because of it, they click.
The first half of the movie, before it turns into a shoot ‘em up, has many funny, charming moments. The preposterousness of the story aside, there are enough effervescent screwball moments in Max Landis’s screenplay to carry the day. But just about the time bad guy Johnny Moon (Michael Eklund) says, “Don’t let this become unfun… This is supposed to be fun,” it’s hard not to disagree with him. What was once a light and fluffy—if a little bloody—confection loses its way in a hail of bullets and beatings.
“Mr. Right” doesn’t get everything right, but in between the quirky trying-too-hard moments are some amiably charming moments.
The Return of the Secaucus Seven sees a group of college friends come together 10 years after they were arrested on the way to a 1970 peace protest in Washington D.C.
In the 1979 film they reminisce about the good old days, flirt and establish the basic theme of all reunion movies: “What’s a little reunion without a little drama?”
This weekend Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs and Morris Chestnut are part of a core group of college friends who put that theory to the test in The Best Man Holiday. As IMDB says, expect “long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be ignited.”
The idea of seeing old friends and frenemies after a long break offers loads of opportunities for drama and comedy.
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion played their high school 10th anniversary get together for laughs. The pair of friends big up their post Grade 12 adventures in an effort to intimidate their old friends.
“Well, I thought the whole point of going to the reunion was to impress people,” says Michele (Lisa Kudrow). “I mean, how am I gonna impress anybody by selling ban-lon smocks at Bargain Mart.”
National Lampoon’s Class Reunion takes a different comedic approach to the subject.
Mixing murder with nostalgia, it’s the story of Walter Baylor (Blackie Dammett, father of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ singer Anthony Kiedis), an unhinged nerd seeking revenge during his 10th high school reunion as payback for a mean prank played on him during senior year.
“One more move and she gets a hole where she doesn’t need one,” says Walter.
Grosse Pointe Blank takes a more wistful approach to post school socials. John Cusack plays a mysterious graduate who has a life changing epiphany 10 years after graduation.
“You know,” he says, “when you started getting invited to your 10-year high school reunion, time is catching up.”
Complicating matters is his job. He’s a hit man.
“What am I gonna say? ‘I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How’ve you been?’”
He’s hired to bump off the father of his high school girlfriend for whom he still has feelings.
More somber is Young Adult, a Charlize Theron dramedy about Mavis Grey (Theron), a ghostwriter of novels for teens who accepts an invite for a baby shower from her high school ex-boyfriend, hoping that he will fall back in love with her during their reunion.
“Sometimes in order to heal,” Charlize Theron says, “A few people have to get hurt.”