RSS
 Add News     Print  
Article List
‘Other Woman’ serves up revenge Walker memorable in gritty ‘Mansions’

‘The Other Woman” is a somewhat rare species in today’s film fauna — a comedy by women, about women and for women. But not just for women, star Cameron Diaz said, even though the film is a tale of three women who band together to take revenge on the cheating cad and reduce him to a whimpering mess. “Everyone can relate to feeling betrayed,” said Diaz, dismissing any notions that “The Other Woman” is solely a “chick flick.” If men don’t buy into that line, then there’s the allure of a screwball and slightly raunchy comedy with Kate Upton, the curvaceous Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model, who makes her first serious foray into acting as the second other woman. The film from Fox, opened last Friday in US and Canadian theaters, follows in the footsteps of female-driven comedies “Bridesmaids” in 2011 and “The Heat,” which was the top-grossing comic film in 2013.

“The Other Woman” is expected to bring in $18 million at the box office in its first weekend, according to Boxoffice.com, less than “Bridesmaids” with $26 million and “The Heat” with $39 million, although those films opened in the busier movie-going months of May and June, respectively. Diaz, 41, plays the cool, competent lawyer Carly, who lets her guard down when she falls for Mark, a suave businessman played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the Danish actor who stars in HBO’s medieval fantasy “Game of Thrones.” Carly discovers Mark is married. His wife Kate, played by Leslie Mann, turns to Carly for support when she finds her world turned upside down by her husband’s infidelity.

Together, they discover him cavorting with the much younger Amber, played by the 21-year-old Upton, who agrees to join the team — known as “the lawyer, the wife and the boobs” — and take Mark down. For Diaz, the film — written and produced by women — is unique because instead of a story “about three women getting in a catfight over a man, they actually become friends.” Much of the physical comedy is instigated by Mann, best known for her roles in films like “This Is 40” from her director-husband Judd Apatow. Her goofiness is only enhanced by the gigantic dog she carts around New York City. Kate and Carly get sloppily drunk and begin their scheming, finding themselves splayed out on the floor or stuck in the bushes in their dogged determination to destroy Mark. Their performances bring to mind Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy’s outrageous antics in “Bridesmaids.”

Comfort
Mann, 42, said director Nick Cassavetes pushed her out of her comic comfort zone, and she found it “very liberating, a lot of fun for me to just go crazy and have that freedom.” And she didn’t lose the opportunity to poke fun at the husband who has directed her in previous films. Without revealing too many of the comic twists, it’s safe to say that Mark’s manhood takes a beating, one that will tap into many a revenge fantasy, and not just for women. “I love watching self-important pricks fall on their face, and he is that guy,” said Coster-Waldau, who himself plays an entitled swordsman of questionable morals in “Game of Thrones.” “Those guys, you just want them to feel a bit of pain,” the 43-year-old actor added. “I enjoyed every second of it.”

Adrenalin runs high in the entertaining, action-heavy remake of the 2004 French film “District B13.” Starring the late Paul Walker in one of his last roles, “Brick Mansions” packs gunfights, car chases, acrobatic stunts and humor into one stylized package. In the urban ghetto of Detroit, which has been surrounded by a containment wall, narcotics officer Damien (Walker) goes undercover and teams with ex-con Lino (David Belle) to infiltrate a crew of criminals and defuse a confiscated bomb.

Accident
Originally set for a February release, the film comes five months after Walker’s death in a car accident and it was a bit unsettling to see him running around in the future. But his love for action roles comes through clearly in this movie. From the detailed fight scenes to the subtle humor, Walker was in his element. He’s as gutsy and charming as ever. Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA plays crime lord Tremaine. As the ring leader of the slums, RZA looks the part. But rarely do you believe a word he says when he attempts to be threatening. There’s too much hesitation and not enough conviction. Later, Tremaine reveals redeeming qualities, which RZA embodies with more believability.

There’s an element of camp to this movie as well, which allows those who aren’t the best actors — Walker included — to prompt a few laughs. “Brick Mansions” was directed by newbie Camille Delamarre and written by Luc Besson, who also wrote “District B13.” Like the original, “Mansions” is set in the near future, although there’s really nothing in the film that shows us we’re a few years ahead other than the “2018” that is flashed on the screen. The many fight sequences were choreographed using a technique called Parkour, which was created by Belle, also a star in the original film. Parkour incorporates vaulting, flipping, swinging, rolling, etc., to move through various obstacles in a scene. The action is frozen for a split second during many of these moves and extreme close-ups put us right in the action.

At times the Parkour technique requires the ability to suspend disbelief, especially when a character is jumping from one rooftop to another, climbing brick walls or overpowering as many as four men at once. Focused on finding Tremaine, who he believes killed his father, Damien’s motivation is rooted in revenge. Lino’s subplot revolves around his ex-girlfriend, Lola. Tremaine has dragged her into the slums, which she had worked hard to escape. But she’s no damsel in distress. Lola can fight and handle a gun — all while showing off quite a bit of leg in a waitress outfit that looks like a truncated schoolgirl uniform. At one point, Lola and the main dame in Tremaine’s clique, Rayzah (Ayisha Issa), who sports a tiny leather ensemble, duke it out. Though it’s a clichéd fantasy come to life, it’s still a hot scene.

At the heart of the film is the social commentary focusing on a community divided. Within Brick Mansions, there is no school, hospital or police station, and those who live there are mostly minorities. It’s made clear that the government could care less about the Brick folks, as they’re said to contribute nothing to society.
This is not a film that will shift anyone’s moral compass. But it’s worth it to see Walker in the last film he was able to complete. “Brick Mansions,” a Relativity Media release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “frenetic gunplay, violence and action throughout, language, sexual menace and drug material.” Running time: 89 minutes. Two stars out of four. (Agencies)

By Mary Milliken


By: Mary Milliken

Read By: 1212
Comments: 0
Rated:

Comments
You must login to add comments ...
About Us   |   RSS   |   Contact Us   |   Feedback   |   Advertise With Us