AKA: Old Men in Front of Green Screens.
Rob Reiner has shot his load, but he’s a proficient hack. Jack Nicholson seems more engaged than most of his hackworkeries, and Morgan Freeman seems to engage him, and vice versa. Or at least when both are asked to deliver pablum, it’s pablum by giants.
The big thing about this film is that the people in it are often put in fancy locations via the green screen. It’s retarded and offensive.
Reiner has no juice left, and it’s sad to watch someone – who at least seemed to have something on the ball early in his career – reduced to this. And yet it’s his most profitable, and arguably most interesting film in years. Though I’ve skipped a number of them, including Alex and Emma and The Story of Us (which will be most famous to me for opening against Fight Club).
Anyone who uses Freeman for hitting Shawshank notes is lame, though, and again, Freeman is playing the magical negro. But, once the film gets over it’s over-expository opening, it’s not the worst thing you’ve ever seen. But fortunately I watched it as an Academy screener. With intentional distractions throughout.