- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2002 1 Jan
In last year's thriller
The movie's general message seems to be: What you see on "reality TV" is not always what you get. Ironically, critics claim
Mary Draughon (Preview) argues, "There's no deep message or moral to the story except forget your worries and have a little fun." But she concludes,"
The USCCB's critic calls it a "cookie-cutter comedy … with one-dimensional characters and autopilot performances. Dey's contrived comedy never gathers enough momentum to produce anything more than a few chuckles."
Phil Boatwright found "some funny moments … but it lacks any real satirical edge. The material doesn't live up to the cast's ability."
Steven Isaac (Focus on the Family) says, "
Michael Elliott says, "Dey … and a trio of screenwriters have a workable premise from which to build but they simply don't take it far enough. Their film is riddled with missed opportunities, missing punch lines, improbable scenarios, and stereotypically written characters."
Holly McClure liked it better than most: "Pairing DeNiro and Murphy together was movie magic. I just think
Mainstream critics called it a disappointment. MaryAnn Johanson says it's "shockingly underwritten: bad guys have little motivation other than being clichÉd action-flick bad guys, entire scenes feel like they've been left out, and the few moments of real, original humor come and go and are never capitalized on. When an appearance by William Shatner is the biggest cause for celebration, you know a movie's in trouble.
Roger Ebert says, "I learn from the Internet Movie Database that [Tom Dey] studied film at Brown University, the Centre des Etudes Critiques in Paris, and the American Film Institute. He probably knows what's wrong with this movie more than I do. My guess: The screenplay was funnier and more satirical until the studio began to doubt the intelligence of the potential audience, and decided to shovel in more action as insurance."