Review: Shotgun Wedding

Shotgun Wedding


Picture perfect

Darcy (Jennifer Lopez) and Tom (Josh Duhamel) are about to be married at a destination wedding on a private island in the Philippines, but things are put in jeopardy by Darcy’s cold feet, Tom’s obsession with planning the perfect ceremony and Darcy’s parents choosing to invite their daughters ex-fiancée Sean (Lenny Kravitz). After a blistering argument that sees everything put on hold, things turn more serious when a band of pirates invade the island and take all of the guests hostage: with only Darcy and Tom free, they will have to find a way to overcome the pirates while figuring out if they have a future.

A short one this week as NFB is juggling some annual leave with an intense period in work.

Shotgun Wedding should work. On the coalface it has everything that it needs to be an above average action-comedy romp, with some established stars of action and comedy in the lead roles, an exotic locale and a premise that has plenty of potential for over-the-top humour. Some quasi-exciting action sequences, bit characters given enough lines to steal a few scenes here and there, a happy ending, that’s what Shotgun Wedding should be able to deliver. After all it’s got the original director of Avenue Q and Pitch Perfect at the helm in Jason Moore, so there must be something.

But Shotgun Wedding falls a little short of that. I can’t put it any simpler than to say that the film just needs to be funnier than it is, with really only Jennifer Coolidge and D’Arcy Carden the stand-out comedic actors who have the ability to inject the needed laughs. Lopez and even the less famous Duhamel have been in this genre before but I wouldn’t call them comedians, but if Shotgun Wedding can’t find the time and space to give to the actual stand-ups then they don’t really have much of a chance. Shotgun Wedding is more about the set-up and frequently lacks punchlines; Tom’s status as a “groomzilla” is set-up but never really pays off. Lenny Kravitz is set-up as a Russell Brand in Forgetting Sarah Marshall-type but that never really gets the space to pay off. The bride and groom comically taking on pirates and maybe blowing one or two up accidentally, ala Tropic Thunder, is set-up but never really pays off. And a potentially funny sub-plot involving the best man trying to hook up with the maid of honour is set-up but the never gets the chance to be paid off since it just seems to stop.

It’s perfectly well-acted (Duhamel especially, filling in for the original choice of Armie Hammer), looks well (the shooting location actually was the Dominican Republic), does a few clever things ( a recurring bit where Lopez’ character expresses unhappiness with her dress ends up giving us a remarkable looking alteration in the midst of crisis) and has just enough comedic chops to not be completely dismissed. But it isn’t all that, unfortunately, with a sense throughout that all of the people involved were in second gear. I liked it well enough for what it was, but it’ll vanish from memory fast enough. Amazon might have thoughts of becoming the new avenue for these kinds of productions, the lower budget comedy designed to keep the subscribers happy with constant tickover of new titles, but Netflix perhaps still has the top spot in that regard, at least for now. Not recommended.

(All images are copyright of Amazon Prime).

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1 Response to Review: Shotgun Wedding

  1. Pingback: Review: The Mother | Never Felt Better

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