"Despite the massive lack of originality being the biggest problem that Hall Pass faces, the jokes and mostly disgusting bloke humour, still made me laugh unashamedly out loud..."
Exploring the topic of the married man's Holy Grail, Hall Pass, is a hilarious comedy about a group of sexually frustrated middle aged men convinced that if it wasn't for their wives, they could be the free, hot, studs that they used to be. Desperate to refresh their marriages, the wives decide to give the men a Hall Pass, effectively a week off of marriage, to do whatever they want.
Fans of The Farrelly Brother's Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber will no doubt have high expectations for Hall Pass, and although I'm not sure that everyone will be taken with the crude and sometimes obvious comedy that it has to offer, Hall Pass will no doubt entertain most fans of this genre. Although this latest offering from the kings of 'Dick and Fart' jokes is by no means at first glance, the cult classic that Something About Mary became, it still had the cinema roaring with laughter and as long as you go into the cinema with medium expectations, and just want a cheap laugh, then Hall Pass is not a bad way to spend 120 minutes.
It takes slightly longer for our newly marriage free men however, to realize that they're better off at home. The comedy duo taking the lead in this marriage mockery are played by the always charming Owen Wilson as Rick, who plays the slightly more sensible of the two compared to his teenager-in-a-mans body of a friend Fred who unlike Rick, who has this 'gift' bestowed upon him free of charge from his wife,Maggie (Jenna Fischer) Fred literally begs his wife Grace (Christina Applegate) for his chance at freedom. Wilson seems to have lost his spark in this role however, and I couldn't help but think that he seemed tired and much older looking, however as a desperate middle aged man, maybe his character called for this fragility that he oozed on screen. He served to reinforce how pathetic their whole charade is, compared to his energizer bunny of a friend Fred played by a brilliantly juvenile Jason Sudeikis, who relishes every moment and drives the Hall Pass pact to desperate new levels. However the kind of character Wilson plays worked much better for him in films like The Wedding Crashers, where as in Hall Pass it just seemed like an old joke being rehashed.
Joined by a cast of motley crew middle aged men who should know better, is a brilliant Steven Merchant as a geeky and sweet English guy, who is probably the funniest of the bunch and who's daydream, or nightmare scenario of how things could play out if he was given a Hall Pass by his wife, is probably one of the funniest scenes in the film. An appearance from Richard Jenkin's as a sexual master in a rock and roll persona and a trilby, who introduces these clueless men to the secrets of getting laid in the 21st century is actually particularly disappointing, and again felt like a familiar character. It was also done no where nearly as well as say Will Farrell in The Wedding Crashers as Wedding Crasher legend Chazz Reinhold or Colm Meaney as Jonathan Snow, hard core party animal and Father of Aldous Snow in Get Him To The Greek. All these roles had a great sense of originality to each of them, where as Jenkin's scene felt like a poor and lazy parody.
Having said that, despite the massive lack of originality being the biggest problem that Hall Pass faces, the jokes and mostly disgusting bloke humour, still made me laugh unashamedly out loud at the cinema, and I definitely wasn't the only one, and at the end of the day it was possibly even more hilarious, disgusting and fearless than The Hangover as the 'men' pathetically try to prove they still had a way with the ladies.
HALL PASS HITS UK CINEMA'S ON THE 11TH OF MARCH 2011