A movie review by Lee Sonogan
(2016) 1h51min /Comedy
Two of the best actors of all time, so I had to check it out. Bryan Cranston and James Franco star as the main characters in the movie. The story is about a holiday gathering going off the rails with a billionaire about to pop the question. With a budget of $38 million dollars, it was successful enough to make over $117 million in the box office. The Director of the film John Hamburg was actor James Franco’s professor at New York University.
According to Megan Mullally, the cast was given free access to improvise as much as they wanted to and eventually 240 hours of films was shot on camera, which had to be trimmed to 90 minutes for the final film.
The Gustav character played by Keegan-Michael Key, is a reference to Gustavo Fring who was Walter Whites mortal enemy in the series Breaking Bad starring Bryan Cranston. Also when Bryan Cranston’s character, Ned Fleming, is asked by his family about how he knows what “vaporising” is, his reply is “I’ve been around”. This is again a reference to Cranston’s time in Breaking Bad as he played the character Walter White (Heisenberg) a manufacturer of the drug Methamphetamine.
The cringe humour style will make you laugh and feel awkward. Some of it you may find a bit over the top, but overall solid enough comedy. Then there’s Bryan Cranston’s acting. His reactions to Franco’s character and more is interesting to watch. Cranston can bring out any character in any genre. There are deeper themes to the story as the movie develops too. The ending is ok with a surprise cameo of a music band. I recommend the movie to fans of all the actors, like the concept, or who want to watch a decent comedy movie.