Format: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Enlarged Edition
MPAA Rating: R
Directed by: Peter and Bobby Farrelly
Written by: Pete Jones, Peter Farrelly, Kevin Barnett, Bobby Farrelly
Starring: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Richard Jenkins, Christina Applegate
Studio: Warner Bros.
Review by: Bill Jones
It was hard not to go into Hall Pass with extremely low expectations. The trailers looked absolutely terrible and the Farrelly Brothers arguably haven’t had a real high-profile critical hit since 1998’s There’s Something About Mary. So it was easy for the film to overwhelm, and it’s true that Hall Pass actually isn’t an overtly terrible movie; it’s just not that funny.
Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) have been friends for years. They’ve also been married for years — it should be noted to characters played by the absolutely gorgeous Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate. But they both get caught looking, and what implausibly happens is their wives give them a “hall pass” from marriage for a week to do what they please, in hopes that in the aftermath they will have stronger marriages.
Of course, along the way the wives determine this means they also have a free pass, and all four of them find themselves struggling with the ideas of whether they’ve got enough game to score and if the moment comes if they are willing to go all the way with someone else, because a “hall pass” doesn’t necessarily negate their consciences. What ensues is a tale of how a conservative lifestyle of monogamy maybe isn’t the worst thing.
The story itself is actually written and handled very well, and it’s hard not to get a little caught up in what these couples are going to do and how it will impact their marriages. But this is billed as a comedy, and as far as that end of it goes, it’s just not that funny. Many of the gags are obvious and often over the top. Low-brow humor also plays a part, but fails to elicit true laughs. Hall Pass is ultimately a decent movie, which is better than many might have expected, but there are plenty of decent movies on the market. That said, keep an eye on Stephan Merchant’s character, who definitely has his moments.
The Blu-ray video looks crystal clear, which is good for watching the beautiful Nicky Whelan, but not a whole lot else, because this type of film isn’t packed with any special effects. That said, it looks and sounds great on Blu-ray.
The extras are slim though, with one extra scene and a gag reel. The film is presented in theatrical and “enlarged” varieties, the latter being cut with some additional footage. But it’s ultimately a skinny package, and with a so-so movie at the center of it, it’s just not enough to recommend more than a rental.
For more info, hallpassmovie.warnerbros.com/dvd
Pads & Panels received the Blu-ray courtesy of the studio for review purposes.