Proof that a good concept doesn't always translate into great comedy, Hall Pass, starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate, offers a few laughs but fails to embrace its potential.
In Hall Pass, female-obsessed pals Rick and Fred are given a "hall pass" from their wives, which permits them to be "single" for one week. A sex-filled zany adventure ensues, right? Well, not exactly. Between unlimited ribs at Applebees and a complete lack of comprehension for how to hit on women, they discover being single isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Hall Pass is your typical R-rated comedy that just slightly misses the mark. It has the pieces but in attempt to appeal to the mainstream, it isn't willing to go all the way with them. Ultimately, Hall Pass is a romantic comedy trying to pass itself off as something else.
Much like Horrible Bosses, which also stars Jason Sudeikis, Hall Pass has bark but no bite. Unfortunately, it isn't nearly as funny as Horrible Bosses; it's harmlessly entertaining, but nothing more than that. Harmless. Not edgy. And it's a movie about husbands given a pass to do whatever they want.
Then again, the "bark but no bite" approach plays into the movie's story. Part of the movie's appeal is the lack of ability or willingness for the guys to actually do something with their situation. But even when they get past that, Hall Pass plays it conservative, effectively shrugging off every opportunity it has to give the audience something worthwhile.
Despite its shortcomings, Hall Pass has a few things going for it. Wilson is pretty funny. Sudeikis is okay. A few of the situations the guys get into are entertaining. The panic room scene is pretty funny.
Still, Hall Pass is underwhelming. The movie offers nothing that puts it among the best of R-rated comedies, let alone more standard fare. Hall Pass is a comedy that isn't very funny... so, what's the point?
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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