An action-farce with a heart.

I saw the movie poster and the title — and immediately wanted to watch that movie. It almost never happens, and is a very promising sign.

Turns out it’s Kate Beckinsale, as a blonde. Beckinsale headlining a film is always a good sign.

Not because she’s attractive, in all hair colors (she looks a lot like Monet Mazur in this one).

…Kate Beckinsale simply has everything that is needed to carry a movie of any budget. She has the charisma, presence, smartness and the first-rate acting skills.

Monet Mazur

And it’s needed in this movie. The big budget… the charismatic Jai Courtney, stellar Stanely Tucci, exquisite cinematography, and occasionally funny writing can only do so much. With someone else in the leading role, the film could have fallen flat quicker than the first 25 minutes that it took before the screenplay started going downhill.

Incidentally, hats off the performers who played “young Lindy”. Sofia Weldon (“Lindy”, 9 Yrs). Eliya Or (“Lindy”, 14 Yrs).

Sofia Weldon

Eliya Or

Then about 25-30 minutes into the film, it appears that there’s a switch; perhaps new writers, producers, or a new director.

The storytelling shifts from worthy of a theatrical movie, to resembling a low-budget television action farce.

No amount of flashy actors, cinematography, explosions, etc, can save the film after that. Not even Kate Beckinsale, who really knows both comedy and moving, compelling drama.

She just doesn’t get much to work with.

Plenty of build-up in the screenplay, but no pay-off. 30 minutes into this film (runtime: 1h, 31 min.) I said to myself: “I see where you’re going with this setup, and you’re not going to be able to come back from that turning point and save the movie”. It takes exceptional writing skills, and Scott Wascha plus Tanya Wexler (director) just couldn’t deliver on such a tall order.

The film was almost passable, nevertheless, but then they had to cast and bring in Susan Sarandon, the actress with a Jane Fonda complex who desperately tries to gain the same kind of relevance off-screen as the activist Jane Fonda did. Seeing Sarandon in this film left a bad after-taste at a stage where the film in itself had reached terminal velocity.

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The Professor

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