Thursday, 5 January 2012

Today's Review: The Change-Up

Hey, it's one of those crazy body swap comedies that were all the rage back in the day. This time it's about a father of three swapping over with a guy who sleeps with copious amounts of women but is a loser.

Apparently they used to be school buddies, which is a bit hard to believe since Jason Bateman is seven years older than Ryan Reynolds, but hey, we'll let that slide. I can even forgive that the magic body swapping is initiated by pissing into a magic fountain. But The Change-Up had a bit of a bad start by starting to portray what being a tired father is like, then having a baby shit in Bateman's mouth. Also there's some kind of special effects baby that is repeatedly hitting his head on the crib. So yes, I started watching this movie thinking it was going to be really stupid, but thankfully it redeemed itself a little.

I can't help but feel the plot is a little one sided though. We have the slacker in the working dad's body, through which he learns the meaning of family and relationships, and the value of hard work. On the other hand we have the working dad inside the slacker's body, where he discovers the wonder of being able to masturbate in private and hang around places not doing an awful lot. But hey, there's some character progression at least, although not having that in a body swap movie would be pretty much inexcusable.

The jokes are quite crude, as in your regular teen movie, with F bombs and boobies thrown in for good measure. I feel this movie tries a bit too hard sometimes, throwing in swear words in an attempt to make a not very funny situation funnier, but in the end it didn't really make me laugh out loud at any point. I was entertained enough to watch until the end, and actually care about what happened to the characters.

Perhaps the best thing is the way in which Reynolds and Bateman act. In their own bodies, they're pretty much playing their typical characters. But when the bodies swap over, Reynolds has to pull off the uppity Bateman vibe and Bateman has to be a slobby Reynolds type, and they both do a pretty good job. The rest of the cast aren't anything to write home about though.

The Change-Up is your basic body swap movie, but with some titties and swear words thrown in so men will like it. It starts out ridiculous and ends a little more serious, so it's worth sticking with it to the end. Entertaining, but not great.

My rating: 3/5

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