15 - 105mins - Comedy - 11th March 2011
The premise for this movie is an interesting one and brought with it the chance to lay down some solid comedy. With the Farrelly brothers producing the likes of Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary, hopes were higher than usual for this type of film. Rick (Owen Wilson) is married along with all his closest friends but this doesn't stop him and his mates sharing a jovial joke or two about what they would be getting up to if they weren't with the other half. In fact the first half an hour of the movie you will spend wondering whether you have happened upon sex crazed teenagers trapped adult bodies given how horny they all seem to be.
Rick and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) believe that they have honed their abilities to leer at women with extreme subtlety and are sure that they are never caught in the act. Their spouses however are well aware of their antics and on most occasions spot or overhear their husbands. After going just that bit too far both Rick and Fred are granted a 'hall pass' from their wives. An entire week to spend doing whatever or whomever they want.
The movie is broken down into the 7 days that they have and the mischief that they get up to. For the first few days Rick and Fred are joined by their mates who watch as they talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Even after copious amounts of alcohol and a quick read up on the latest internet chat-up lines neither one is bringing their A-game to the table. Parallel to this however are the wives who both go to Cape Cod for the week and being spouse free themselves find that male attention is quite easy to come by. Rick and Fred's friends who include Stephen Merchant (am not sure how they managed to get him in this but he should probably have given it a wide berth) are not engaging and except for a golf scene involving brownies laced with weed they don't contribute to either the plot line or the comedy.
The Farrelly brothers have gone the way of lude and crude and for some that will cater to their comedy needs. 'Over the top' and 'gross-out comedy' have been muttered when talking about this movie and I would agree wholeheartedly. For me though there is only so much laddish humour I can take before it starts to become a bit repetitive. There are some good moments hidden away in a sea of average especially towards the end but they are fewer and farther inbetween than I would have liked.
It's a shame the movie didn't begin half way through because this is when I felt it started to stutter into life and even after the credits started rolling there was still some laughing to be had. Hall Pass has set itself up to cater for a certain type of viewer and it will be one of these movies that you either end up loving or hating. I'm usually a fan of toilet humour and a bit of banter but this just didn't quite cut it.