Allow me a moment to speak in defense of a man who needs no defending — or rather, whose music needs no defending. Keanu marks the second movie this year that has employed George Michael’s voice to seemingly comic effect. It started with Deadpool. In an attempt to establish its lead’s bona fides as a lovable, übergeek psychopath, the film made him a fan of Wham! and made “Careless Whisper” the anthem for his “my crazy matches your crazy” romance with his ladyfriend. Which is just dumb, because “Careless Whisper” is a breakup song — and a pretty, listenable breakup song at that. If they had any guts, they would have gone with “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” and had Ryan Reynolds dancing like a teenybopper in his tighty-whities. But I digress.
Keanu’s offense is perhaps still greater, because in an effort to establish its lead’s bona fides as a thoroughly unfunky suburbanite black man, the film makes him a fan of George Michael’s solo career, in particular, the album Faith. We get an extended joke built out of Keegan-Michael Key struggling to convince a bunch of hardcore gangsters that George is all that. Ha ha! Except not really, because Faith was famously the first album by a Caucasian to hit the number one spot on the R&B chart. Sigh.
In other news, Papa: Hemingway in Cuba has a solid Hemingway, a Cuban setting, and not much else. Louder Than Bombs has a bunch of emotionally constipated dudes: a father and his two sons, still reeling from Mom’s untimely death. So much for me.
Scott had better luck. He mostly enjoyed the punks vs. skinheads flick The Green Room and found something to like in the supernatural drama Pali Road. But he tells me he’s going to see Mother’s Day today and review that, so maybe he’ll get to slam something after all.
Also opening: political meddler Susan Sarandon as a meddling mom in The Meddler, video-game adaptation Ratchet & Clank, and the western search for self movie Sky. Cheers!