Andrew Gunn

Andrew Gunn

Andrew Gunn Quick Links

Film RSS

Bad Santa 2 Review

Weak

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with resolutely unsentimental emotion. So it's very disappointing that this 13-years-later sequel reassembles the cast then merely coasts on the vulgarity, never bothering to develop the characters or plot. It's just as rude, and it provides some solid laughs along the way, but the story never engages the audience, which leaves the movie feeling naughty but never nice.

Over these years, Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) has continued his slacker lifestyle into his early 60s. He still lives in Phoenix, and has continued to try to ignore the attentions of the sweetly naive Thurman (Brett Kelly), who has just turned 21. Then Willie's treacherous ex-cohort Marcus (Tony Cox) gets out of prison and approaches him with a big heist. Against his better judgement, Willie accompanies him to Chicago, where two nasty surprises await: the plan is to steal millions from a children's charity, and Willie's estranged mother Sunny (Kathy Bates) is organising the robbery. Annoyed, Willie instantly falls for the sexy Diane (Christina Hendricks), who is married to the charity's shifty boss (Ryan Hansen). Meanwhile, Marcus tries to seduce a security guard (Jenny Zigrino). And Thurman turns up unannounced.

It's depressing that, after years of talk about a sequel, this haphazard plot is the best the writers could come up with. Every element of the narrative is deeply contrived to merely string together a series of filthy jokes, rude insults, noisy sex and criminal slapstick. All of this would have been welcome if the comedy sprang from the messy relationships or personalities. But everything is so static and pointless that there's nothing to hold the audience's attention, aside from a number of witty gags that pop up out of nowhere. So at least there are a few solid laughs.

Continue reading: Bad Santa 2 Review

Sky High Review


OK
The high school melodrama gets feebly super-charged in Sky High, a tween-oriented Disney adventure made from the spare parts of Harry Potter, Spy Kids, X-Men and '80s teen romances like Some Kind of Wonderful. Without an original bone in its mutant body, Mike Mitchell's decidedly mortal misfire - too childish and metaphorically shallow to appeal to serious comic book fans, and too prosaic to strike a chord with those weaned on Pixar's far more exhilarating The Incredibles - is a misguided movie in search of a suitable identity. While cheery, colorful, and buoyant as Superman on a nighttime flight around Metropolis, this humdrum escapade nonetheless lacks any sign of an extraordinary imagination. An example of bland mix-and-match derivativeness, the film's espousals of egalitarianism not only promote the values of tolerance and cross-cultural harmony, but also wind up functioning as a preemptive validation for its own mild, middle-of-the-pack mundaneness.

Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) is the son of the world's greatest heroes, super-strong Captain Stronghold (Kurt Russell) and high-flying Josie Jetstream (Kelly Preston). However, despite his impressive lineage, Will's lack of astonishing abilities poses complications on his first day at Sky High, a Hogwarts-esque floating academy for exceptionally gifted teens. Because of his embarrassing ordinariness, Will is shuttled into the "Sidekick" academic track (euphemistically referred to as "Hero Support") with his hippie best friend Layla (Danielle Panabaker) and other lamely powered misfits. Sidekicks are unpopular geeks and Heroes are the cool kids at this fantastic high school, which also features a cheerleading squad made up of clones, a mixed-lineage (hero and villain) rebel as Will's brooding arch-nemesis, and bullies acting as evil henchmen for a mysterious fiend who's plotting revenge against the Stronghold clan. This passing interest in metaphorical subtext proves tantalizing during Will's admission to his dad that he's a sidekick (a moment that recalls X-Men 2's "coming out" scene), as well as with the repeated adult refrain that Will is just a "late bloomer" (thus linking his nascent strengths with puberty). Yet content to only skim the surface of its symbolic potential, the film doggedly opts for obviousness when subtlety is called for, ultimately turning its story into simply the latest misfit-makes-good-and-proves-that-dorks-are-people-too adolescent fairy tale.

Continue reading: Sky High Review

Andrew Gunn

Andrew Gunn Quick Links

Film RSS

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

February 2021 favourites: We took our Medicine At Midnight but still succumbed to Death By Rock and Roll and Carnage!

February 2021 favourites: We took our Medicine At Midnight but still succumbed to Death By Rock and Roll and Carnage!

The normally uneventful month of February saw a lot more activity than the norm as 2021 saw significant signs of hope and optimism begin to appear.

Maximo Park - Nature Always Wins Album Review

Maximo Park - Nature Always Wins Album Review

Maximo Park return with their first full length studio album in nearly four years as they release 'Nature Always Wins'.

Lost Horizons - In Quiet Moments Album Review

Lost Horizons - In Quiet Moments Album Review

Yes, I know, it's far too early to call out contenders for the Top Ten Albums of 2021 but, if 'In Quiet Moments' by Lost Horizons doesn't feature...

Advertisement
Maisie Peters - John Hughes Movie Video

Maisie Peters - John Hughes Movie Video

Maisie Peters first release of 2021, 'John Hughes Movie', is as an inspired, individual and thought provoking concept that showcases the singers ever...

Wolf Alice - The Last Man On Earth Video

Wolf Alice - The Last Man On Earth Video

Wolf Alice make a long awaited return ahead of the release of their third album with a new single and video, 'The Last Man On Earth'.

Tom Odell - numb Video

Tom Odell - numb Video

Tom Odell returns with new song, 'numb', his first single in nearly two years.

Bryan Adams - The Forty First Anniversary Of Bryan Adams Self-Titled Debut Album.

Bryan Adams - The Forty First Anniversary Of Bryan Adams Self-Titled Debut Album.

Way, way back in the February of 1980 one twenty year old Bryan Adams released his eponymous debut album, paving the way for the start of his...

Advertisement

Andrew Gunn Movies

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Sky High Movie Review

Sky High Movie Review

The high school melodrama gets feebly super-charged in Sky High, a tween-oriented Disney adventure made...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews