The Upside (2019)
Critic Consensus: Preachy, manipulative, and frustratingly clichéd, The Upside showcases Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart's chemistry without ever taking full advantage of it.
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Critic Reviews for The Upside
For the most part, [Hart] is more subdued than usual and aiming to hit deeper notes - call it Hart-felt.
It's a struggle to find the bright side to this rather hackneyed film.
Forced to work strictly from the neck up, Cranston is just the right amount of gruff; Hart, aside from a deeply unnecessary catheter scene, gives a gratifyingly prickly and vulnerable performance.
The Upside works for many of the same reasons that The Intouchables worked but, like any echo, it's neither as loud nor as powerful.
Compared with the streamlined Intouchables, the remake feels ungainly, inexpertly suturing together the French source material with Hollywood formula.
Audience Reviews for The Upside
Charming is the key word here. You will be charmed. The Upside is charming. Charmed in the sense not that The Upside will put you under a spell necessarily, but more in the sense of it being a pure pleasure; a delight, if you will. Many a foreign films are re-tooled into American stories so as to make the context more familiar and the circumstances more relatable/understandable, but oddly enough the 2011 French film, The Intouchables, might be the last foreign film to come to mind when considering what would benefit from a re-contextualization as it, by virtue of its broad and rather simple odd-couple premise, feels the least foreign in terms of beats and emotions relayed. Still, for one reason or another it was deemed a big enough hit overseas and therefore must have been doing enough right to make a stateside studio want to re-make it once more (it has already been re-made in India as well as having a Spanish-language re-make to boot) and so why not hire the likes of Walter White and the most reliable comic actor of the moment to bring it to a wider, English-speaking audience? Thus, The Upside was born and first premiered on the festival circuit back in the fall of 2017, but was shelved and sold off following the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations. Eventually bought by STX Entertainment, the studio is either hoping people overlook the time of year in which they are dumping this into theaters and simply trust the inspired pairing of Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart or they are just trying to unload what is sure to make some money, but what they ultimately realize was always an unnecessary piece of cinema. And yet, unnecessary as it may be, the inspired pairing of Cranston and Hart is what makes director Neil Burger's (Limitless, The Illusionist) re-make of the film a film with genuine heart and even a little insightful substance from time to time rather than that of a film completely devoid of any charm or wit that exists solely as an opportunity to replicate a previous winning formula. The Upside is certainly formula and it goes without saying any seasoned movie-goer will know to expect every beat this hits, but that doesn't mean it's neither appealing nor endearing as it strokes its familiar elements to the point it is these charming qualities that stand out most. read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com
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