Business rating: 1
Star cast: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate.
Plot: Two men are given a week’s time by their wives to go out and have fun. What happens then?
What’s Good: A few comic scenes.
What’s Bad: The overall lack of entertainment; lack of chemistry between the main characters.
Verdict: Hall Pass will fare poorly at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: Several in the second half.
Watch or Not?: Watch only if you can bear to see half-funny films.
Conundrum Entertainment and New Line Cinema’s Hall Pass is an adult comedy about two men being given a week’s time by their wives to have all the fun that they can, without the wives intruding. However, things get out of control when both the wives start engaging in extramarital activities as well.
Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) are best friends. Rick and Fred have been married for many years to Maggie (Jenna Fischer) and Grace (Christina Applegate) respectively, but do not miss any chance of ogling at any hot girl they see. Frustrated, the wives decide to take a bold approach: they grant their husbands a ‘hall pass’, one week of freedom to do whatever they want… no questions asked.
Rick and Fred are overjoyed and decide to spend their time on a beach on Cape Cod. Surprised, and very happy, the men try everything they can do to hook girls. However, they also spend a lot of time with their own male buddies, playing poker or golf. How does their week go? Are they able to satisfy their male egos and have no-strings-attached sex with many females? The rest of the film answers these questions.
Story and screenplay – Hall Pass Review
Pete Jones’ story holds a lot of promise for comedy but the screenplay (by Bob Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Pete Jones and Kevin Barnett) disappoints. The humour is over the top and unconvincing. In light of this, all the nudity and toilet humour fails to entertain. Plus, when the men discover that their wives have also been having fun on their own, they are shocked to find that the ‘hall pass’ can work both ways! Also, the film would appeal to the girls more than the boys.
Star performances – Hall Pass Review
Owen Wilson is not in his element. Jason Sudeikis is good but the lack of chemistry between him and Wilson is evident. Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate, who are good actresses otherwise, have hardly any funny lines to mouth. Stephen Merchant, J.B. Smoove and Larry Joe Campbell (as the coterie of friends) do good jobs. Nicky Whelan (as Leigh) adds to the glam quotient.
Direction – Black Swan Review
The Farrelly brothers’ (Bob and Peter) direction is average. Although they succeed in creating a few funny moments, they fail to repeat the entertainment value offered by their previous films (Dumb & Dumber and There’s Something About Mary). Matthew F. Leonetti’s cinematography is so-so. Production values, surprisingly, are average for a film of this scale. Sam Seig’s editing is okay.
The Last Word
All in all, Hall Pass will get a few footfalls due to its funny trailers but the disappointing reports it will receive will seal its box-office fate in India.