19 February 2003

It's Been Awhile...

Shanghai Knights: 2 Stars. I didn't much care for the first Wilson/Chan pairing, and this sequel is no exception. The Rush Hour films show that it's possible to make this sort of buddy chopsocky comedy work, but somehow the Shanghai series doesn't get the job done. The fault doesn't lie with the actors, who are likable and entertaining, but with the material, which is derivative, full of holes, and pretty damned lame. And don't get me started with the anachronisms, which exceed even normal suspension-of-belief. Owen Wilson has proven to be an exceptional writer, sharing credit with Wes Anderson in Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, but I'm starting to wonder who shoulders the load in that pairing. Maybe Wilson is so dazzled with his own stardom that he can't differentiate good from bad when the paycheck is above $10 million.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: 2.75 Stars. This film is another example of material that's below the actors. What starts out as a fairly interesting idea gets lost in sketch comedy. Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson have shown that they've got considerable chops in 13 Conversations about One Thing and Almost Famous, respectively (among other films), but they both seem wasted in a romantic comedy that not even Meg Ryan would bother with. Go do some more serious stuff, folks, and leave the fluff to Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sandra Bullock.

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