A down-on-his-luck salesman happens upon the first fast food restaurant and feels compelled to spread them across the country.
Directed by John Lee Hancock
Starring Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, and John Carroll Lynch
Review by Jon Kissel
I’ve now seen two John Lee Hancock movies but I suspect that I know exactly what the rest are like: earnest performances from actors in inoffensive packages. Unmemorable scores, Americana, fundamentally conservative. That’s always been my impression of The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks. The Alamo is the kind of movie a bored history teacher would show his class. My mom loves The Rookie (nuff said), and The Highwayman was only notable because it was about the cops who chased down Bonnie and Clyde, in opposition to the classic film that followed the robbers and heralded the beginning of Hollywood’s last golden age. Football, baseball, Disney, pop history, and Texas Rangers are all boxes for Hancock to tick on his USA bingo card, and with The Founder, fast food gets inked out, too. I eagerly await his future work about Levi Strauss, the digging of the Erie Canal, and Pecos Bill.
The mileage one gets out of MacGruber is going to be directly proportional to how much the viewer appreciates Will Forte’s facial gymnastics. I personally love it every time his weird face scrunches up in agony or fury, so this is a movie that works on me. Jorma Taccone, away from his Lonely Island roots, essentially makes a straight action flick and staffs it with a character who not only is a ripoff of an absurd 80’s primetime detective but is also the direct antithesis of every bad-ass testosterone-fest from the same decade. A solid premise plus whatever Forte is doing with his eyes in any given moment makes MaGruber into one of the decade’s better comedies, and one more unjustified commercial flop on the Lonely Island’s collective resumes.
If you’re a fan of Spider-Man, you’re in the midst of a golden age. Tom Holland is widely praised as the best live-action representation of the character, a stance I agree with based on the fact that he’s a credible high schooler and not a man in in his early 30’s creepily walking down a school hallway. As if Holland’s five appearances in four years wasn’t enough web crawling, Sony produced the animated adventure Into the Spider-Verse, introducing no less than seven new versions of the character in one outing while also creating what many are calling one of the best superhero movies ever. Away from the growing umbrella of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Into the Spider-Verse is allowed to go wherever it wants to, freed from any kind of realism or prior lore. That freedom is coupled with an earnestness that the character has presumably had for its entire life, and while I don’t subscribe to the fawning praise for the film, the film is a refreshing diversion from an increasingly serialized genre.
JUST SOME IDIOTS GIVING SURPRISINGLY AVERAGE MOVIE REVIEWS.
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