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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

The Love Punch review: below the belt

The Love Punch yellow light

The jokes are as creaky as the aching bunions and bad backs onscreen, but Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan are incandescent together.
I’m “biast” (pro): love Thompson and Brosnan

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan plot a jewel heist. In the French Riviera. No, it does not make any sense. Yes, it requires lines of dialogue akin to “Hey, good thing you knew a guy who could create a replica of a $10 million diamond necklace on short notice.” And a mess of kittens in a place where kittens would never, ever be (seriously). And for Brosnan (A Long Way Down) and Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks) — and their pals Timothy Spall (The Rise) and Celia Imrie (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) — to disguise themselves as Texans, for Scooby-Doo or — at a stretch — Bugs Bunny values of “disguise.” The jokes are as creaky as the aching bunions and bad backs onscreen; in one scene, a funny little European car drives down a flight of outdoor stairs in Paris! I do wish that Thompson and Brosnan’s first movie together weren’t so damn dumb… but it is Thompson and Brosnan together for the first time, and they are incandescent in a golden-age screwball-comedy kind of way. Shame the movie itself doesn’t even try to aspire to that. Writer-director Joel Hopkins was far kinder to Thompson in his previous film with her, Last Chance Harvey. Maybe he’ll be kind to her again — and bring Brosnan back — for another shot. With a much better script next time, please.

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The Love Punch (2014)
US/Can release: May 23 2014
UK/Ire release: Apr 18 2014

Flick Filosopher Real Rating: rated OFA for comedic depictions of Old Folks Abroad
MPAA: rated PG-13 for some sexual content, language and rude humor
BBFC: rated 12A (contains strong language, moderate sex references)

viewed in 2D
viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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