Thursday, 29 September 2011


The Change-Up [Review]

Opinion: B-
Instilling jarring blatant situations to get the audience cracking into laughter, The Change-Up makes little effort in rejuvenating its genre set-up and premise. Instead it relies on its actors to perform outrageous acts and go all out within their comedy roles. To a certain extent, the supporting female cast (especially Leslie Mann) featured credible performance to make this comedy a little more outstanding to watch.

Mitch is a single, unemployed man-child who has zero responsibilities. Dave is a highly paid lawyer at a prestigious law firm with a beautiful wife and kids who adore him. To Mitch, Dave has it all and to Dave, Mitch's life is a dream come true. After a drunken night out, their lives are turned upside down when they wake up in each others' bodies. However, both discover that it isn't as rosy as it seems and as time ticks away, they struggle to avoid destroying each other's lives before getting their old ones back.

From the man who directed Wedding Crashers and Shanghai Knight, this was every single bit a slapstick comedy by David Dobkin. Albeit a no holds barred edition.

Using CG visuals to assist in going all out in crudeness and offence, there's a couple of scenes where it allowed the comedy to go slightly beyond the norm in raunchiness. There's the pregnant lady's baby kicking from within, Mann's kids approaching household danger, and nudity.

Yes, some of the nudity (Mann's actually) were CGI.

Mann isn't a lady who's associated with baring skin, therefore it was a surprise for some. With that in the film, it seems like everything's upsized in blatancy. Including Ryan Reynolds' expression. His facial demeanour seemed to have undergone an extensive exercise session in this film, which is good for him and his acting competency.

Good but not great.

Jason Bateman feels familiar after his recent presence in Horrible Bosses, which was one of the better comedies this year. Here, he gets a little more screen time as one of two leads and proved to be a capable funny man. What really got in his way is probably the script where his lines aren't exactly witty ones.

Likewise for Reynolds.

Despite crafted on a situational basis, the various scenes added up together fluidly without any feeling out of place. I've seen comedies where the entire film clearly felt like segmented chapters scripted by different writers pieced together randomly.

Leslie Mann shone brightly as one of two female supporting cast, which further strengthened my opinion of Mann as a credible actress.  She managed to display a wide range of emotions effectively and seemed to be confident and comfortable in her role. Olivia Wilde was adequately strong in screen presence as well, but largely from the charm and charisma that she's oozing as a white collared office lady who's restraining a wild animal within.

While the film doesn't promise anything new in terms of premise and content, the acting and crude scenarios really did well to crack the audience up and liven the mood. Crazy is perhaps a good adjective to describe some of the actions taking place in the film. Changing bodies overnight isn't a sane premise.

There is no sense in everything right from the beginning, but it's not supposed to make sense in the beginning.

(Preview screening courtesy of United International Pictures Singapore and


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