Seth Rogen plays only one character: himself. He no more fit the rich playboy profile of Britt Reid than I would. He was his usual stoner-self with moments of forced "authentic" expression, like when he storms off to the main house after his father's death, demanding the leaf in his coffee (you'll have to see the movie to know why he makes such a demand).
Everyone is jumping on the superhero train; as I predicted several years ago, the time of the vampire is sadly on the wane--welcome back, caped-crusaders and superheroes alike. And who wouldn't want to cash in? Especially two "GenMe" guys with their fingers on the pulse of a three-decade long generation. Jean Twenge would rejoice. But those of us looking for meatier superhero-tales that showcase the intricacies of the human condition...not so much.
You know what I did find impressive? "Kato" aka Jay Chou.
Chou, born in Taiwan and newly 32 (his birthday was January 18th) is a multi-talented producer, song-writer, musician, actor, AND novelist (his first book debuted in 2004), who totally and 100% completely STOLE THE SHOW! It was a great move to put Chou in the role of Kato; he plays a perfect foil to Rogen's sloppy, spoiled character. Ironic that Chou's teacher never thought he'd be a good actor--seems like Chou is good at everything he does. Wish I could say the same for Rogen.
The cinematography by John Schwartzman was awesome. 'Nough said.
Perhaps this was the fault of the director--but it could have been mandated in the script (placing the blame squarely on Rogen and Goldberg)--but about half-way through the film, I wondered if Michael Bay was the director....
Relying on explosions and violence, the film isn't helped by making Cameron Diaz the pinnacle of Reid and Kato's heterosexual matrix. Diaz plays "Lenore," a 36-year old hard-nosed reporter applying for a simple secretarial position at The Sentinal, the newspaper independently owned and run by Reid after his father's death.
Two words: Yeah, right.
Diaz, my junior by one-month and one-year, is not exactly 36...and though a truly beautiful woman with a rockin' surfer's bod, facially, looks even older on screen. The problem came in with making Diaz the believable love interest of two guys who look barely 30. Diaz is a spunky, fun-loving California girl--to put her in this role would have made great sense if she was still the same age as in the 1997 romantic comedy, My Best Friend's Wedding.
The open-ending of the film suggests a sequel to this latest adaptation of the original 1930's radio show created by Fran Striker and George W. Trendell--which celebrates it's 75th anniversary of the first airing at the end of this month.
On the Housel-scale, this movie ranks a 7/10, out of respect for director Gondry and worthy performances by Tom Wilkinson, Edward James Olmos, Christoph Waltz, James Franco (cameo), and of course, Jay Chou.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, I love you guys--I really do--but you need to shake it up a bit. I'm available for script consultations anytime...turn that first week's $58-million gross into $120-million...let me know! ;)