Twins: Two Brothers Who Are Perhaps Too Close


Written by Luke Barnes


Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito are twins made in a lab experiment who find each other after years apart.

I understand this film is considered by some to be a classic, but personally I struggle to see it as anything above average.

Yes, Schwarzenegger and DeVito have strong chemistry together on screen and a rather impressive back and forth but that only goes so far. I didn’t find either to be hugely funny, and for the most part the jokes of the film left me cold.

Moreover, there were a number of lines that were troublesome for a plethora of reasons, and yes though some will say ‘oh it was made in a different time’ that is still no excuse. Whilst the icky jokes and comments didn’t put me off the film they were enough to be jarring and to take me out of it.

I would say I preferred DeVito’s character to Schwarzenegger’s as he had numerous funny lines and was written as a more interesting character with layers, as opposed to Schwarzenegger’s who was very one note.

Another issue I had with the film was the wider story. Beyond the twins meeting and then setting out on an adventure together the rest of the story here is a mess. It is one of the most overly convoluted plots I have seen in a while, with twists and a needlessly large amount of side characters stuffed in to try and make the film as confusing as possible.

Overall, though watchable and at times even moderately entertaining there is no way this is a classic.



A few funny lines

DeVito and Schwarzenegger’s chemistry together


It is convoluted

There are too many side characters

Some of the lines are icky

The jokes mostly don’t work

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Tom And Jerry: Cat On A Hot Hotel Roof

Written by Luke Barnes

Tom And Jerry is a live action hybrid animation film directed by Tim Story. The film serves to bring back the classic cartoon duo, but now in the real world fighting over hotel rooms. Yes, that’s right.

So before, I get into this I just want to acknowledge that this film is aimed at kids, you can tell it is in several ways such as the constant references to youth culture (that feel very much hello there fellow kids), and just the whole vibe of the film, and that’s fine maybe kids would enjoy the mindlessness of it, but anyone else would be a much harder sell.

I did not think that this film was bad, nor did I think it was good, if anything I thought that it was painfully average to the point of being a bit boring. If you compare the spectacle of the old cartoons, and the escalating fight scenes that Tom and Jerry used to have this film feels even tamer. The best sequence would probably be when Tom is trying to get into Jerry’s room for the very first time and things escalate to them wrecking the room, but even then it feels basic.

Perhaps most damning of all is that I actually preferred the human characters to Tom and Jerry. Chloe Grace Mortez as Kayla was a lot of fun and had quite a few great moments: I hope Mortez hitches her wagon to this franchise and appears in any sequels going forward, as she has a good emotional rapport with the characters which is hard to establish as they don’t talk- yet she finds a way. Likewise Michael Pena is entertaining as the film’s villain Terrence, though Pena gets stuck with most of the hello fellow kids dialogue he also manages to have a few funny moments, and actually makes the film bearable.

Overall, if you need something to show your kids that’s bland, stick them in front of Raya and the Last Dragon (which is actually better than this), but if you don’t want to pay for premium access on Disney + then I guess this will do. Though don’t try and watch this if you are over the age of 10 as it might put you to sleep.





The cartoon was better

This feels overly tame

The soundtrack is distracting

It is mind-numbing


The Intern: Recasting Mary Poppins As Robert De Niro

The Intern is a buddy comedy film directed by Nancy Myers. The film sees widower Ben (Robert De Niro), decide to take up an internship for an online retailor after growing bored with his retirement. The rather obvious joke being, he’s an old man intern.

Believe me, I am thinking the same thing as you, I went into this one with incredibly low expectations; to be blunt I just wanted something mindless that I could passively watch whilst doing other things. However, this film soon captured my attention and was genuinely, surprisingly good.

I enjoyed how basically this film takes the idea of Mary Poppins and is like you know what I’d rather see that role played by Robert De Niro, and by God it works. This film is basically Nanny McPhee or Mary Poppins, De Niro’s character fixes the lives of everyone around him, sometimes in laughably implausible ways, whilst also being a font for sagely wisdom.

This film actually made me laugh out loud quite a few times, I really needed it so it was much appreciated, as I often say comedy is subjective so what worked for me might not work for you, but the sheer wholesome appeal of this film is tough to rival. De Niro and Anne Hathaway (who plays the co-lead), are both excellent and bounce off each other with fantastic vigour and chemistry.

Overall, a surprisingly great film.


The jokes

The wholesomeness

De Niro


The idea of replacing Mary Poppins with an old man




Reviewed by Luke     

Half Brothers: Stealing Goats

Half Brothers is a comedy film directed by Luke Greenfield. The plot sees two half-brothers Renato (Luis Gerado Mendez) and Asher (Connor Del Rio),come into contact for the first time after the death of their father (Juan Pablo Espinosa).

This film brought a tear to my eye and broke my heart, as a comedy film I don’t know if it was aiming to do this or if this was a mistake, but there is some powerful emotions in this film. The father journey is beautifully told over the course of the film, starting with him leaving Mexico to go to the States and then never being able to come back and the impact that has on Renato. How he never gave up trying to come back and has thought about seeing his first son again all his life, it is touching and deeply sad.

I enjoyed seeing the two-brother bond over the course of the film, yes the storyline was nothing new, but the leads had enough chemistry that they pulled it off and made it enjoyable. Both characters were more than they first appeared and had nuanced moments and arcs of their own, usually the writing in comedy films is quite weak but I have to hand it to this film it really managed to buck that trend.

My one issue with this film would be that though it is well written and has strong emotional resonances, it is not funny and at the end of the day it is supposed to be a comedy film. Now as I often say comedy is subjective, but for I didn’t really find myself laughing at all, smiling a few times but no laughs.

Overall, as a comedy film it is a let-down, but as a drama and a character piece this is incredibly strong. If you change what you are looking for and your initial expectations there is a rough diamond here.


It is touching

The emotional arc

Salient points about society

The performances


It is not funny


Reviewed by Luke  

Bad Boys: Cars Need Cupholders

Bad Boys is a buddy cop action film directed by Michael Bay. The plot follows two Miami police detectives as they get wrapped up in a narcotics investigation that threatens them on both a personal and professional level.

Before watching this, the only Bad Boys film I had seen was the most recent entry For Life, however watching this film actually made me like that less. That is not to say this is a bad film quite the opposite to be truthful with you, watching this allowed me to see how all the jokes and other elements I liked in For Life where actually just repeated from this film; the unoriginality is staggering.

Say what you want about Bay, as a director he was at this prime in the 90s and this film proves that. This is everything you would want from a buddy cop action film, explosions, laughs, catchphrases…. well maybe not everything; this is no Lethal Weapon after all, but there is enough there to keep you entertained.

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have a great comedic back and forth, no Gibson and Glover but few can aspire to that level of greatness. I think this film manages to nail the tone perfectly between silly and serious as it can by its nature go from a jokey scene between the partners to them witnessing an important death that still feels resonantly impactful, without being jarring in the transition.

Overall, is this as good as Lethal Weapon no, no it is not, but it is definitely on the high end of the buddy cop scale, there is a lot to love here as long as you aren’t too demanding. Smith and Lawrence are electric together on screen.  


The humour

The switch in switch out tone

Smith and Lawrence


Some of it is a little cliched

It is not as funny as it thinks it is.


Reviewed by Luke

Green Book: Driving Don Shirley

Green Book is a comedy drama buddy film directed by Peter Farrelly based on the real-life friendship of jazz pianist Don Shirley (here played by Mahershala Ali), and bouncer Tony Lip (here played by Viggo Mortenson). The film covers their initial meeting, and how through a tour of the American South the two bonded and effected each other’s lives.

Best picture winner? No. Good film? Yes. So, I went into this film expecting it to be very, very good considering the awards it has won and it is good there is no doubt about it, but it is not Best Picture good.

My main issue with this film is that it is often a bit too overly sentimental. Emotion within film is a fine thing, there are times when this film gets its emotional tone just right and the scenes feel weighty and important without feeling overdone, but there are also times when the emotional beats are just a little too much, a little forced and in those instances they feel cringey.

The friendship between these two characters is the crux of the film, and in that regard I can say that this film is a smashing success. Both Done Shirly and Tony Lip feel like well rounded and fleshed out characters, and the friendship between the two feels explored and nuanced; it is nice and heart warming to see this friendship feel like it is organically growing over the course of the film rather than feel forced.

Mortenson and Ali are both terrific and both have many dramatic scenes were they shine, and also a few comedic ones too, though Ali steals the show in those.  

Overall, a nice heart-warming film that reminds you of the power of humanity and friendship, though it should not have won Best Picture.


The friendship

The characters

The emotional journey

Good heart and a few laughs


Sometimes feels a bit too overly sentimental


Reviewed by Luke     

Bulletproof: The Worst Of 90s Sandler?

Bulletproof is a buddy cop action comedy film directed by Ernest Dickerson. The plot sees undercover cop Jack Carter (Damien Wayans), have to transport his ex- friend/ criminal partner Archie Moses (Adam Sandler) across the country to bust a big-time drug lord.

Watching Sandler mid-90s to now you can see a real change and even a maturing. Yes, I know the words Adam Sandler and mature in the same sentence seems like a mistake, but they aren’t. In this film we can see Sandler at his juvenile worst, his character has few to no redeemable qualities and is most just annoying and childish for most of the film. I enjoy Sandler’s recent efforts (yes, even some of his Netflix fare), but even I can see this is far from his best.

Sandler and Wayans have a little bit of chemistry together which is a welcome mercy, but if you compare it to other great buddy cop duos, they might as well be strangers.

There is no point saying that this film is quite icky when compared to a modern standard as it goes without saying, for the stupid people who say ‘oh that’s what things were like back then’ it doesn’t make the critique of it any less valid.

Finally, the heart of the film just doesn’t land, you don’t end up caring about either man or their friendship with the other: the ending is met with a shrug of indifference.

Overall, definitely one of Sandler’s weaker efforts and that is saying something.


It has one or two laughs


For the most part it is not funny

The emotion does not land

Sandler is deeply unlikable

It goes on for too long

It is generic


Reviewed by Luke   

Lethal Weapon 2: Advertising Condoms

Lethal Weapon 2 is a buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner. The plot this time around sees Murtaugh (Danny Glover), and Riggs (Mel Gibson) go after a cartel of South African criminals that have a personal connection to Rigg’s past.

I think here we can see the tonal issues starting to become apparent, there is a lot of fallout surrounding Shane Black exiting the projecting and his darker script being rejected in favour of a more light hearted one; said script I would say is the major issue with the film. Quite dark and upsettingly violent sequences are upended with jokes and quips, which serve to ruin any tension built and let the air out of the balloon so to speak.
The tonal issues carry over to the characters as it limits their emotional growth and the extent of their journey’s. There is some interesting ideas and notions being floated around here, like Riggs dying to save his partner’s life at the end of the film, however, the film seem to gutless to follow through with these interesting character moments in favour of maintaining the status quo for sequels.

Gibson and Glover are still a terrific paring and have a lot of great on-screen chemistry together, sadly that is limited by insufficient character work.

Overall, this film shows us what is wrong with Hollywood, whereby the inevitable sequel is prioritised over the film itself to the detriment of all involved.





The tone is mismatched and doesn’t work

The ending loses its emotional impact

The characters don’t seem to progress emotionally or personally from where they were at the end of the film


 Reviewed by Luke

Lethal Weapon: Mel Gibson’s Bare Arse.

Lethal Weapon is a buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner. The film follows a pair of mismatched detectives who are brought together to work a case in spite of their differences.

In the action genre this film is very important, it laid the groundwork for a lot of what the buddy cop action sub-genre would there after go. Personally, the thing I most admire about this film, after watching it for the first time for this review, is its sense of style. Everything from the soundtrack to the setting is perfectly paired to create a dense lived in world that never feels overly dire, but also doesn’t feel too comical.

In that regard, this film made me laugh quite a lot throughout. I wasn’t expecting the film to be as funny as it is, but it really tickled me.

Mel Gibson (despite being vile in reality), and Danny Glover give two of the best performances in the action genre and cement themselves as legends. They have marvellous on-screen chemistry together, and it is a treat to watch them interact. If I had to pick a favourite it would probably be Gibson’s Riggs as I love how off the wall yet effective he is.

Overall, a very strong action movie that refines both the standard action formula and the buddy cop formula to a tee and makes for one hell of a watch.




The action

The laughs

The style




The Wedding Ringer: Hire Your Best Man Today!

The Wedding Ringer is a buddy romantic comedy film directed by Jeremey Garelick. The plot sees friendless Doug (Josh Gad), lie to his fiancé Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco) and say he has a best man arranged for the wedding, this leads him to seek the services of Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart), a best man for hire.

Once again I find myself finding Kevin Hart hilarious, he threw me off with those terrible Ride Along movies, but I am now fully back on the Hart train. He made me laugh several times during this film and he brought a hell of a lot of heart, pardon the pun, to the role. I think the film would be a lot worse without him in it.

The buddy relationship between Hart and Gad works well, both nail the emotional beats and make for a very convincing on-screen friendship. Despite being a romantic comedy film for the most part of the film I was rooting for their friendship over the central romance of the narrative.

In regard to said romance, I think this film sorely underused Cuoco’s proven comedic talents and instead relegates her to playing the gold-digging finance that the film goes out of its way to encourage you to hate, which feels like a huge waste. She is given no good moments of her own to shine.

Overall, a solid buddy film, not really a romantic comedy at all. Strong chemistry between Gad and Hart, but Cuoco gets snubbed at every turn. Mixed to positive.



The buddy dynamic

It is quite funny


It is not a romantic comedy

Cuoco is wasted


Reviewed by Luke