Being the designated driver for some of my friends, I have been stuck staying at a nightclub until closing time. When the lights came on I was stunned how the entire place radically changed. When we first arrived at the club there were colored strobe lights sparking everywhere, narrow spotlights searching the dance floor while a cool, low fog circulated around our feet. At the end of the evening the room was flooded with harsh white light, exposing stained dark walls and a floor littered with confetti and crepe paper streamers. Some of it was clumped together on parts of the floor where drinks were spilled. At one of the leather clad booths along the wall, there was a passed out patron. As you can see it was not a pretty picture. The same could be said for this tired film. Consider this movie the last call of the franchise. Phil, Stu and Justin; played by Bradley Cooper (Limitless, Silver Linings Playbook), Ed Helms (Cedar Rapids, The Office-TV) and Justin Bartha (National Treasure franchise, The Rebound); participated in an intervention for Alan, played by Zach Galifianakis (The Campaign, Due Date). On the way to the treatment center; the Wolfpack was ambushed by Marshall, played by John Goodman (Argo, Flight). Holding Doug as hostage; Marshall gave the rest of the gang three days to find Mr. Chow, played by Ken Jeong (Community-TV, Pain & Gain). The story was one dimensional; in other words, it seemed as if they planned the jokes first, then wrote the story around them. The problem was the lack of humor; the jokes were utterly stale. Using Alan’s questionable feelings towards Phil as a continuous joke quickly became old. The character of Mr. Chow derived his humor by being inappropriate for these politically correct times. When the first movie came out it was a novel and fresh idea. I found the film to be dreary and lazy. Consider this film a reminder to never stay beyond last call.
1 3/4 stars
So many people have told me to “live in the moment,” yet it has always been a challenge for me. Do not get me wrong, I am actually better at it now; but, it takes some effort on my part. Being a credit manager, yoga/cycle instructor and movie reviewer; I have to plan out my days. However, I can live in the moment wherever I am; I just have a time limit on it, aware there is something afterwards that will need my attention. I guess this explains why the word spontaneous is not part of my vocabulary. Ironically, the one area where I am totally in the present is when I am watching a movie. I never sit and wonder what will happen next or how a certain action will cause a type of reaction. This would explain why a film such as this one provided me a fuller thrill experience. With all the different clues and pieces of American history, I just sat back and enjoyed the exciting ride. Nicholas Cage (Adaptation, Face/Off) was his family’s latest treasure hunter, Benjamin Franklin Gates. Handed down from his ancestors was a story about a fortune hidden by this country’s Founding Fathers. When a mysterious clue was finally solved by Benjamin, it led him on a multi-state adventure to historic American landmarks hidden with clues. Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings franchise, Equilibrium) was the wealthy unscrupulous adventurer, Ian Howe who was intent on beating Benjamin to the treasure at any cost. When getting this DVD I understood the story would be far-fetched, but the way each clue was laid out from scene to scene had me questioning if there really was some truth to this tall tale. With his recent string of poor movie choices, it was good to see Nicholas doing himself proud playing this character. I also enjoyed Justin Bartha (The Hangover franchise, The Rebound) as Benjamin’s assistant Riley Poole and Diane Krueger (Unknown, Troy) as Abigail Chase, a museum employee who accidentally became involved in Benjamin’s quest. If you can sit back and live in the moment, this movie will take you on a wild escapade.
2 2/3 stars — DVD