Saturday, 28 January 2012

THE CHANGE-UP DVD review

Ahh, remember the good old days of the body swap comedy? Well it's back in this new Jason Bateman/Ryan Reynolds vehicle from the writers of The Hangover. Watch the trailer and read my review, next...

Complaining about their lives whilst peeing into a fountain, two men wake up the next morning to find themselves living in each others bodies. Stuck that way until they figure out a way to switch back, they quickly learn that they didn't have it so bad in the first place. Dave and Mitch (Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, or Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman depending on how you look at it) live drastically different lives, with Dave being a workaholic family man and Mitch being a layabout actor with a string of women left in his wake. With Dave's career and family at stake, can Mitch put in the ultimate performance and save the day?

Yay! It's the return of the body swap comedy! Once a staple of 80's "cinema", it either ran out of reasons to swap people or fell out of favour with audiences who finally realised that every single version of the story ended up as the same morality tale. Either way, it's back and it's ruder, thanks to a script from Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the two men who gave us The Hangover. It's probably for the best if you ignore that they're also the two men who gave us Ghosts of Girlfriends Past or even worse, The Hangover Part II.


As well as upping the expletive-filled, gross-out factor for this vulgar Vice Versa, the main selling point of The Change-Up is the teaming of Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, both likeable guys with a lot of goodwill generated towards them. Sadly, even they can't save The Change-Up from being a little bit crap. Chucking in as many body swap cliches as possible (oh no, my very important boardroom presentation is tomorrow!), it's hard to ignore the fact that nothing ever feels in jeopardy for the two men. Whereas Dave may be having some family trouble (yeah, that's likely to end badly) the biggest thing at stake for Mitch is his career in lorno (light porno to the uninitiated).

Backing up the two men are Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde as Dave's wife and Dave's assistant, respectively. Wilde is little more than window dressing there to justify Dave's desire to flee his family, and although it at first appears that Mann is doing her signature role of "wife of man who gets left behind whilst he goes on a wacky mid life crisis style adventure", she adds a bit of weight to the story of Dave's crumbling marriage, even if it does make him seem like a heartless moron who's ignoring his loved ones in favour of looking after himself.


Despite having some chemistry together, neither Bateman or Reynolds particularly impress here. Both funny actors, you'd be better off watching Just Friends and Horrible Bosses to see them at their best. The Change-Up DVD also comes with a longer, ruder version of the film that, given I found it both overlong and vulgar to the point of unsavoury, I think I'll stick with the theatrical cut. Now if you don't mind, I'm off to watch Vice Versa.


Verdict




Special Features: Longer, Ruder Cut, Fist Fight Deleted Scene, Gag Reel.

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