Hall Pass review

12 Mar

Hall Pass

The Farrellys were once the bright young talent in the comedy scene. They helped pioneer the gross-out comedy with such films as Dumb and Dumber and the infamous There’s Something About Mary. These films were notable for having a warmth to their characters that was somehow conveyed through all the pee and poo jokes. That was the 1990’s, for the Farrellys a much better era.

Jump to the year 2011 however and it is apparent that they have lost most, if not all, of that stinking lustre which they once possessed in buckets. They are the anti-Midas in today’s film industry, everything they touch turns to crap. Case in point: Hall Pass.

This film contained real promise. After real duffers such as Shallow Hal, Fever Pitch and The Heartbreak Kid, this film seemed to offer a glimmer of hope. Owen Wilson, noted funnyman, signed up, as did Stephen Merchant and Christina Applegate. The project seemed to have at least a little respectability and many heralded it (before release) as a return to form: it is not.  The fertile writing ground that this film offered has been completely squandered.

The story is this. Men are unhappy. Wives propose armistice. Men can go and indulge carnal desires. A man poos in a field. Men aren’t successful. Men go home, make peace and all is well.

Their other halves suffer in wholly underwritten roles, the two protagonists were apparently scripted in 2D and the gags just feel tired and flat. Hall Pass tries to be so much more than the sum of its parts, unfortunately those parts don’t equal an awful lot.

Mark this as the beginning of a long protracted end for the Farrelly brothers, no patch on Apatow are they.

Sean Cameron



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