Some good ideas, but some frequent poor execution.
This probably won’t make much sense, but while watching this one, I think it seemed like I was enjoying it more than I actually did because I kept thinking about how it could be better. It was only afterward that I realized how many missed opportunities there were and that I had sort of filled in the blanks with my own thoughts on how things should have happened.
Overall, what this movie was missing was more emotional depth. If you’re going to make an R rated movie about the end of the world, don’t make it PG-13 with a few extra F-bombs. Go all out! Really show the sadness, anger, debauchery, violence, and even emotional clarity that could result from the situation humanity finds itself in. Much of that is implied, but it’s all seen in glimpses. It’s all very sanitized. It’s a dark comedy that’s just not all that dark.
It is certainly funny at times, though. Not outrageously funny, but I laughed on several occasions. I also wanted to check the time on my phone on several occasions as well. There are some dull moments that could have used more emotional punch.
It’s director Lorene Scafaria’s first film, and she definitely seemed to play it safe. In fact, the whole movie does. The character development, the soundtrack, the camera shots, you name it, it all seemed…routine.
Steve Carrell, as Dodge, is playing essentially an even more toned down version of the character he played in Dan In Real Life, which probably helped bring down the film’s energy even further. While Keira Knightley, as Penny, is playing a pretty typical quirky character (she likes vinyl records and can sleep through almost anything!), at least she brought some energy to the role.
As I mentioned, it is funny at times, and there are some inspired moments, like a scene in a Friendsy’s restaurant with an overly affectionate staff, and then a brief stop at one of Penny’s ex-boyfriend’s place, but those are few and far between.
I wanted more from a movie about humanity’s end. I think it’s an occasion that deserves a little more.
Lastly, I’ll close by saying…I think you’re gonna need a bigger plane…