Sunday, March 15, 2015

Moonwalkers first look review – Kubrick myth becomes misfiring comedy

Rupert Grint and Ron Pearlman star in tall tale of CIA agent employed to find Stanley Kubrick and pay him to create moon landing footage. 


 
Details: 
Comedy  |  14 March 2015 (USA)
Director: Antoine Bardou-Jacquet
Writer: Dean Craig
Stars: Ron Perlman, Rupert Grint, Robert Sheehan |See full cast and crew 
   
Conspiracy theory has it that Stanley Kubrick was employed by the CIA to fake the Apollo 11 moon landings. This is the jumping off point for the dodgy comedy Moonwalkers. Set in 1969 (obviously), it stars Hellboy’s Ron Perlman as Kidman, a CIA agent searching for Kubrick in Swinging London, and ending up with a hapless band manager played by Rupert Grint masterminding the footage America needs in case the real-life space odyssey goes awry.  

It’s hard to imagine a film less like one of Kubrick’s, an idea which must have tickled director Antoine Bardou-Jacquet. Sadly, Moonwalkers is not just a mile from its inspiration in style, but in quality. Despite some decent performances from Gint as Jonny, the hapless manager of a terrible rock band, a swivel-eyed Pearlman afflicted by flashbacks from Nam and Robert Sheehan as the permanently wasted friend Leon dragooned into standing in for Kubrick, the film is only intermittently funny, and its targets – camp experimental filmmakers, meatheaded Hell’s Angels, deluded wannabe rock stars – are not so much tired as catatonic.  
  
When things look in danger of flagging, which is frequently, Bardou-Jacquet adds a lavish sprinking of topless women and throws in yet another drug-taking scene, culminating in the inevitable apocalyptic acid trip. While celebrity rubberneckers may enjoy seeing Harry Potter star Grint getting in amongst it, that’s the only note of subversion the film contains. Billed as an action comedy, Moonwalkers is also incongruously violent, with (for instance) a public-toilet beating too brutal for hilarity, though Bardou-Jacquet has fun with the Performance -style Cockney gangsters led by a godfather who’s making a matchstick model of the Tower of London, before Perman furiously smashes it to smithereens.  



The funniest bits play on the differences between the Brits (effete, stoned and useless) and the Yanks (macho, ernest and dim), and there’s a decent joke about 2001: A Space Odyssey. But what sinks Moonwalkers is not that it’s broad and crude, but that it fatally lacks decent gags. 

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/mar/15/moonwalkers-first-look-review-kubrick-myth-becomes-misfiring-comedy#img-1