Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Cinema Review: Get Him To The Greek

Judd Apatow has recently scored with hits such as the quotable duo The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, and has surprisingly re-defined the comedy genre, straying it from the all-too-familiar throwaway, laugh-a-second comedies and impressing audiences, and critics, worldwide with their fantastically quirky, raunchy and often offensive scripts. Sadly, anything involved with the genre is compared to such brilliance, leaving it either face-first in the dust, or competing with Apatow himself.

Still, when he isn't directing them, he's producing them. 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall saw him team with newcomer Nicholas Stoller, with writer/star Jason Segal scripting the fare and creating what would generally be the reason the film was a high-flying success; Russell Brand's care-free, high-spirited rock 'n roll artist Aldous Snow. With such a positive response, how could the character not be transferred into another film? Get Him To The Greek follows him, once again, on an entirely new, but equally as messy, adventure.

A record company (led by P. Diddy, in an unexpectedly hilarious form) sends off their new intern Aaron Green (Superbad's Jonah Hill) on the mission to drag out-of-control rock legend Aldous Snow (British comedian Russell Brand) back to L.A. to perform a comeback gig at the Greek Theatre - a gig which he played years earlier when the artist was in his prime. Unforeseeably washed up due to an offensive album, Aldous -- returning to his drug-addict, alcohol-infused ways -- must deal with his own problems, all-the-while attempting to please his new-found friend Aaron.

Renowned for his less-than-ordinary attitude towards life, it's no surprise that Brand's character exudes the similar outlandish, but entirely refreshing, tone. Gripping the bull truly by the horns, the all-out characteristics of the character is unique and channels the Brand (pre-Katy Perry) which we've all read about (My Booky Wook; an instant classic), but supplies the vast majority of sheer hilarity to the film. With every second word being profane and the insatiable urge to shock audiences, Brand may offend most ethnicities but those familiar with the comedian himself knows he never fully means what he recites.

Brand's pairing with comedy hotshot Jonah Hill is nothing short of brilliant. The duo are a perfect example of an on-screen partnership, boasting believable chemistry and two characters which fit hand-in-hand with one another. Whether it's a clash between the two or a more enlightening scene, both characters are incredibly well-written, with the undoubtedly quirky, often explosive, one-liners proving quotable well after the credits have rolled.

Similar to many of the Apatow-released flicks, Get Him To The Greek somewhat loses momentum half way, drawing out the story to something which is already too blatant. Rose Byrne, facing the brunt of the somewhat tedious scenes, sadly has little to work with. Underused and rather distasteful, Byrne's ex-wife to Aldous Snow is a throwaway character which merely provides as an excuse to delve into Snow's previous life - unusually presenting a swift change of tone, from potentially side-splitting to depressingly dark.

Despite the 20-or so rather dry minutes, it whips itself back into turbo-charged shape and - with the aid of P. Diddy successfully performing so far from his usual self - ends surprisingly poignant, with Brand's clearly auto-tuned singing sending you off with a gargantuan smile and, most probably, dirty thoughts centered around Brand in his glowing y-fronts. Either that or severely traumatized.


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