I really tried to like this film. The trailer made it look hilarious, but everything about this movie is a big fail. Maybe it’s a movie that is funnier and makes more sense when high. While there are humorous moments most of the jokes fall flat.
It looks cheap like a syfy channel film. Most of the scenes look like really fake sets. Most of the dialogue is olde English mixed with modern slang and curses. There is a lot of gay jokes and surprisingly a lot of graphic gory violence. The special effects are horrible. In fact the witches magic lightning from the movie looked like The streams from GHOSTBUSTERS.
The cast is likeable and there is room for a mid-century comedy. This just wasn’t it which is a shame since I usually like Danny McBride as he is a comedic actor/writer who knows how to mix the vulgar with the sweet. This seems like a project brought about by him believing the critics thinking he can do no wrong, with this film he showed he can.
I am mostly disappointed with director David Gordon Green who has increasingly showed diminishing returns as far as quality ever since he stopped making Indie films and went the mainstream route. Here it feels like he is on auto-pilot and asleep at the wheel. When he should be experimenting with the opportunity he has. While I didn’t love PINEAPPLE EXPRESS I at least enjoyed it somewhat. The technique and style Mr. Green showed in films like GEORGE WASHINGTON, UNDERTOW and ALLTHE REAL GIRLS showed a naturalness and great camerawork and the ability to cut to the heart of characters and scenes. I know this is a comedy, but the camera seems to lay there and everyone plays whatever they want. How they want.
Although the film was written by writer Ben Best and actor Danny McBride, the dialogue is heavily improvised. Director David Gordon Green said there was never a script used on-set. Only the plot outline and written notes were used.
Justin Theroux seems to be the only one who realizes how ridiculous everything is so it might as well have fun. The only excitement is a chase scene involving a chariot. It’s not totally impressive but it’s more interesting thing in the film.
Zooey Deschanel, I don’t know why she is here she really has no character to play. They could have gotten some voloptous playmate turned actress to play the role. That is how thin it is and how little she has to do on-screen.
This was definitely not the year for Natalie Portman after winning the Oscar for BLACK SWAN then having this released as she is basking in the glory and accolades.