A Paramount Picture, Written by Pat Casey, Josh Miller, Directed by Jeff Fowler.
The much discussed and delayed video game adaptation has finally hit screens, and it is entirely fine and harmless. It is by no means a cinematic classic, but it was never trying to be. What it is, is a solid and well acted film aimed at kids, and I think it will be a big hit with its target audience.
It takes itself seriously enough to not mock the source material, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is able to provide some good comedy beats.
It doesn’t make the mistake of being an origin story that only promises what we want to see at the end, and instead provides a good story first time round.
One aspect that really never worked for me was our leads sister in law constantly trying to get her sister to divorce Marsden’s Tom, despite him being an entirely good man and provider for the family. It was used for cheap laughs that never landed and didn’t work.
James Marsden and Ben Schwartz both do really good jobs, carrying the film well and both giving charismatic turns (Schwartz only in a voice role but still as impressive).
Jim Carrey starts off the film seeming like he is trying too hard, but as it goes on, he really settles in and ends up being the best thing in the film, and does some of his best work in a long time.
I imagine this will do well enough to get a sequel, and the teases at the end of the film show there is plenty of story left to tell.
Rating = 3/5