This week in movies, I check out the live-action Winnie The Pooh movie, starring middle-aged Christopher Robin. Can things work out between them, knowing he’s not a kid anymore? Before that, I check out The Spy Who Dumped Me and see if it’s duo spy comedy can be a lot of fun. Let’s get started!
The Spy Who Dumped Me (Directed By Susanna Fogel)
After continuing to be upset over being dumped through a text, Audrey (played by Mila Kunis) receives a sudden message from her ex-boyfriend Drew (played by Justin Theroux), who later tells her that he’s a spy working for the CIA. They get attacked at their apartment with the terrorists going after Audrey and her best friend/sidekick Morgan (played by Kate McKinnon). They’ve got to send the special device over to a place where no one can get it, before the terrorists come after them.
So, we have comedians who always have their key features in humor that they are able to deliver with strong charisma, regardless of how great or bad the material is. then there are those who play one type for the entire movie and their ad-living cannot save themselves from a bad punchline. Your enjoyment of this movie entirely depends on how much you love Kate McKinnon, not primarily her work in SNL.
Every single movie she was apart of, you laughed your butt off from her goofy expressions and wacky noises every single time. Nothing else matters in this movie as it’s all for her to make jokes and have everyone else react. While we’re supposed to be centered around Mila Kunis, there’s a good chunk of this movie where it’s starring Kate, not to develop her character, but to come up with several gags, wanting them all to land.
You take Kate McKinnon out, you take a big portion of this movie…which could have made things better. Now the plot isn’t great, nor are your characters. The movie wants to apply logic, but that gets thrown out the window near the end, where characters back track on things they’ve said before. One person dies, then comes back to life later with a stupid explanation. What I could say is that, if we lost Kate McKinnon, the movie wouldn’t stop to have this lazy “girl power” message that you don’t at all buy into.
Plus, we would have less wacky antics of those lame fish out of water comedies, where we get the clueless person being in an environment they aren’t prepared for, though because Kate is crazy and full of feminism commentary, it’s suddenly funny, clever script be darn. This could be a tighter film with alright action, if we didn’t have Kate McKinnon, or whoever is telling her to be the same obnoxious crazy lady with every movie she’s in.
I mean the action is not bad, neither is it great or enough to rush out and see this one. The plot never strives away from being every bad 90s spy film and the movie doesn’t roast it’s stupidity, meaning it’s just dumb. Nothing is self-aware, smart, so bad that it’s good or so good that it’s good.
I walked out right when the credits were starting, skipping that post-credit song number by Kate, because at that point I had enough of these tired R-Rated shenanigans, which by the way, is there so we can show off a penis, gore and F-bombs. Unless you are a die-hard Kate Mckinnon fan or is that easy to entertain in movies, skip this one.
I heard Crazy Rich Asians is pretty good, which has a female Asian in the lead role, that should be a million times more enticing than Kate McKinnon doing her thing…again
Christopher Robin (Directed By Marc Forster)
Christopher Robin (played by Ewan McGregor) is now grown up, back from being away, fighting in World War 2, just to bury himself with more work as post-war led him to work at Winslow Luggages, having to cover up for the hard times they’ve gone through. Unfortunately, this mean Christopher can’t spend time with his family on the weekends since he’s having to work double-time.
Then, his childhood friend Winnie The Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings) re-enters his life, bugging him into going back to Hundred Acre Woods to play with the gang again, despite that work is highly demanding.
Can Pooh, Eeyore (voiced by Brad Garrett), Piglet (voiced by Nick Mohammed), Rabbit (voiced by Peter Capaldi), Kanga (voiced by Sophie Okonedo), Roo (voiced by Sara Sheen) and Owl (voiced by Toby Jones) help Christopher Robin with his life issues? What I can immediately say, this movie opened up like a “best of 2018” contender, being heartwarming and insightful on growing up back in the old times.
We get a tender opening where Christopher as a kid is spending time with his stuff animal friends for one last time. Right off the bat, the CG on Pooh and friends is phenomenal. You really do feel like that stuffed bear came to life, supported by beautiful illustrations of the chapters appearing as drawings in the book before colored with live-action. I literally teared in parts of this film because the sweetness of Pooh’s loving friendship with Christopher Robin gets tear-jerking in parts.
Once Christopher grew up, I was still hooked, seeing what he had to go through and how life took away that inner child. Though, it was when we entered Winslow Luggages, seeing all the employees act like generic cartoon characters, working around this very serious actor, that’s when the movie takes a dive. Christopher’s wife and daughter aren’t fleshed out characters to where you can believe in them being upset at our hardworking man for not spending enough time with the family.
Instead, you side against the family for not acknowledging they wouldn’t be living in a house if it weren’t for him. Pooh and Christopher may have this lovely chemistry together, but the same can’t be said for most of the animals or the family. Every children’s movie hi-jinks besides farts and memes goes into the final act of this film, where the writing gets super formulaic.
It’s almost working the opposite way Paddington 2 did, minus the smart writing. Where that film started off as an innocent family film to progressively be enduring with amazing commentary, Christopher Robin starts off that way only to weaken its intelligence by every 10 minutes, ending with a film that’s decent, but a total letdown to what it could have been.
I’ll say, you may very well still enjoy Christopher Robin, but only as a lite feel-good feature, rather than a deep-spirited adaptation like Paddington 2. Catch this in the theaters if you’d like, I’m just not sure if you’ll come out wanting to immediately watch this again.