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Director: David Dobkin
Writers: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Cast: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, Mircea Monroe
Synopsis: Growing up together, Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and Dave (Jason Bateman) were inseparable best friends, but as the years have passed they've slowly drifted apart. While Dave is an overworked lawyer, husband and father of three, Mitch has remained a single, quasi-employed man-child who has never met a responsibility he liked. To Mitch, Dave has it all: beautiful wife Jamie (Leslie Mann), kids who adore him and a high-paying job at a prestigious law firm. To Dave, living Mitch's stress-free life without obligation or consequence would be a dream come true. Following a drunken night out together, Mitch and Dave's worlds are turned upside down when they wake up in each other's bodies and proceed to freak out. Despite the freedom from their normal routines and habits, the guys soon discover that each other's lives are nowhere near as rosy as they once seemed. Further complicating matters are Dave's sexy legal associate...
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive strong crude sexual content and language, some graphic nudity and drug use
Another Invasion of the Body Switchers part....oh hell...I lost count by this point
Okay people, you know the drill by now. Two jerks wish they had each other's lives, and shock shock...they end up switching bodies. Gee, what a surprise. Then somewhere along the way, blah blah blah...they learn some life lesson, and gain a clearer perspective about their shortcomings; while settling for every comedic cliche in the book when it comes to movies of this ilk. However, does that mean the film is a utter piece of garbage? Well not exactly. To be fair, the film is a lot better than what most critics have made it out to be, but it's definitely nowhere near as funny as audiences think it is either. Like Ang Lee's "Hulk", it's not as bad as it's reputation. While on the other hand, like Louis Lettier's "Incredible Hulk", it's not as great as the hype either. I would probably have to say that "The Change-Up" is basically a run of the mill comedy that'll impress most movie goers, but it's easily forgettable, as I doubt seriously we'll be talking about this film...say...twenty years from now...
The main reason why it's fairly forgettable is that "The Change-Up" really doesn't offer anything new to the table when it comes to the concept of "body switching"; which is one of the many concepts that has been done to death already in Hollywood. Granted, I know some of my readers might give me flak for saying that; as films like "Inception" did rip off from other movies like "Dreamscape", yet I gave that film a great review. However, the distinct difference here is that "Inception" took a concept that was used in previous movies, and explored aspects to the concept that were never explored before. I, for one, really loved "Dreamscape", but let's be honest here...in the end, it was nothing more than an over the top sci-fi movie that played off the stereo types of government conspiracies; while settling for a cliched Hollywood ending. Whereas "Inception", it took on more of a psychological approach to the concept of dream invasion, and still featured well developed characters and a great story line; which makes it a very memorable film in the long run. Granted, these are different genres of film with different story archetypes, but the point is still valid.
As I said earlier, the movie is fairly decent for what it is, as some of the jokes are funny. Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman are always at their best when it comes to comedies, so there's no shocker that they'd be able to pull off their roles in "The Change-Up." As for Olivia Wilde, she's just there to look pretty. Kind of sad if you ask me, as she came off such a strong performance in her last film, "Cowboys & Aliens." Granted, her role in that film was small as well, but she was at least given a purpose; where her stoic and mysterious look about her only helped enhance the mystery to her character. Whereas "The Change-Up", the only feasible reason she exists in the film is to look hot. Don't get me wrong, she can certainly play a hot girl, but you could easily have cast any girl in that role, and this movie never would've suffered. I apologize to all Olivia Wilde fans out there, but I only speak the truth here. Besides, I think Megan Fox is attractive, but that doesn't stop me from bashing her in a role if I felt she was awful in it. Therefore, I'm afraid that I have to show the same level of honesty towards Olivia as well.
Before I go any further, I'll briefly summarize the plot for this film first, then we'll go from there. The film starts off with two best friends, whom both live strikingly different lives. Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) is essentially a pot head and soft core porn actor, who lives the life of loose women, and little responsibility. Of course, like all characters of his ilk, he's seen as a proverbial screw up by his father and best friend, as he can never seem to commit to anything. Gee, I wonder where this is going... Then we get to Dave (Jason Bateman), who lives a life that's constantly demands excessive amount of his time. Dave not only has to help his lovely wife, Jamie (Leslie Mann), raise three children, but he has to constantly put in a lot of hours at work. After a long day, they hang out at a bar, as they talk about how pathetic they think their lives are, or lack thereof. As the night continues, they end up getting drunk and peeing in a fountain, as they chant the immortal words..."I wish I could be you." The next day, Mitch wakes up in Dave's body, while Dave ends up in Mitch's body. Wow, there's a shocker.
From here, the two try relocate the fountain, so they can switch back, but it was moved. Therefore, until they can find out the new location of this magical fountain, they're both forced to play out each other's lives. Like all body swapping comedy type films, the two make a lot of mistakes along the way, but both become forced to adapt and mimic each other's lives, in order to make the best of things. Along the way, they end up learning some life lesson about themselves, as the film follows every "body swapping" comedy cliche in the book.
However, I do think Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman do a great job carrying this movie. Granted, the script they had to work with wasn't that great, but both actors are displayed in top form, as they'll genuinely make anyone laugh in this movie.
Overall, I would probably have to give this movie a two out of four; simply because of Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman. If it wasn't for them, then I might have to give this movie a rare zero out of four rating; which is something that I've never given any film before. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that "The Change-Up" is a bad movie by any means. No, just mediocre and average at best. Unlike some comedies such as "Rushmore", "The Change-Up" isn't trying to tell a deeply engaging story. No, it's only purpose is to try to make it's audiences laugh based on the performances by it's key actors, and it does succeed on that note. Therefore, I wouldn't go out of my way to say this movie is horrible, but it's definitely not great either. In the end, I would say it's definitely worth a rental to get a few cheap laughs, but I wouldn't expect anything more out of it.
By the way, if you're easily grossed out by potty humor and d*** jokes, then I probably wouldn't eat anything while watching this movie. Just free advice.