Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Get Him to the Greek

Lowdown: An aspiring music fan has to escort a drunk/drugged performer to his live show.
Once upon a time not that long ago there was a comedy called Forgetting Sarah Marshall that was quite good. One of the trump cards held by that film was a British stand-up comedian called Russell Brand, thus enlivening things through overacting his supporting role. In Get Him to the Greek we have Brand playing the exact same character, only that now he’s at center stage.
Greek follows an aspiring music industry guy who is in it for the love of music (Jonah Hill). His on-her-way to become a doctor girlfriend is overworked and their relationship comes to a crisis just as he gets his professional break: his idea of having Brand’s character, a has-been rocker, to perform a comeback show at a venue called The Greek has been accepted. Now it is his job to escort Brand from the UK to the venue in LA.
That’s where the trick is, really: Brand has been comforting his fall from fame through sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll (and alcohol). Getting him to cooperate is as easy as getting humanity to act on climate change. Hence our two characters have a challenge on their hands: the revival of a career for one, and the embarkation on a new career for the other. Given that this is an American film we’re talking about here you know where we’ll end up being when this film comes to an end.
The point of Get Him to the Greek is not the plot or the moral challenges; these are just the setting for our hero characters to let go with their type of humor. The problem lies in that humor, which may work fine for supporting roles but is not enough to build a film on. There’s too much nonsense at hand, and whatever substance might lie in between is too well camouflaged. You do get the occasional (yet rare) laugh, especially in the bits aimed at celebrity culture, and there are some nice supporting performances (e.g., Rose Byrne playing a character that’s probably based on David Beckham’s wife). Overall, though, things are pretty bland.
Best scene: A threesome. Not in the way I’d expect (one man + 2 * woman), which at least goes to show Get Him to the Greek is brave even if it is still comfortably within the socially acceptable framework of “American films' status quo”.
Technical assessment: An average Blu-ray from start to end. I was particularly annoyed at the fact the menu option for watching the film’s extended version was only revealed to me after I finished watching the original cut.
Overall: My initial enthusiasm towards Russell Brand has severely waned. 2 out of 5 stars.

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