Sign in using your account with
Samy Oxyde Al Carbone: Tired, Silly Slapstick Comedy
Samy (Ramzi) is a jobless playboy, who spends his time wasting money and chasing women. Then he meets and falls for Gihan (Dorra), a hardcore social activist who regularly organises protests and despises egocentric, wealthy people like him. In order to impress her, Samy does what any man in his position would do, and pretends to be a low-maintenance, working class version of himself. While trying to woo Gihan and fit into her activist circle, Samy discovers that the land he owns is being contaminated by pollution from a nearby factory owned by Gaber (Fawzy). Karma can get you like that.
Things become even more complicated when Samy's ex-wife Haidy (Tetiana) reappears after many years only to tell him that he has a daughter called Sandy (Nasrat). Haidy is terminally ill and can’t take care of Sandy, and so Samy suddenly has the responsibility of fathering a child he’s never known of. This is, understandably, Samy’s opportunity to redeem himself and become a changed man. Queue the violins or the Rocky theme tune; both are fitting.
The film's main plot is actually split into two parts; the first is about him changing into something he's not, and the second revolves around his dealing with the responsibility of parenthood. Predictably, both stories suffer from various annoying elements. To begin with, Ramzi’s depiction of a successful womaniser is very hard to believe – the actor has pulled off the awkward, dorky roles for years, but he lacks the suave charm to convince us of his flirting skills.
Additionally, his father-daughter scenes with Nasrat are forced and seem to shove the jokes down the audience’s throats. An example of this is a when Samy and his best friend Medhat (Edward) dress up in various costumes, including Avatar characters, in an attempt to entertain his newly acquired daughter. Nasrat does her best adorable act as the charismatic young daughter, but it borders on slapstick and – again – forced.
Director Akram Farid seems to have borrowed themes from US films like Game Plan and Big Daddy, but this film lacks the charm and humour to pull it off. Essentially, this film is all about Ramzi, which is unfortunate considering that his flat portrayal of an immature man lacks the type of charisma needed with an anti-hero character like this, and fails to command the audience’s attention. His cheesy lines don’t help either. Even hardcore Ramzi fans will be disappointed, and the supporting cast fails to impress: as Samy’s best friend Medhat, Edward plays the same funny sidekick that we’ve seen him play before, while Dorra’s efforts are lacklustre as she gives a lukewarm performance with little charm.
By Egyptian standards, this comedy is weak and almost offensively silly in its use of cheap humour. This type of slapstick comedy may have worked back in the 90s, which in hindsight is still a little embarrassing if it did, but you’d think that Egyptian cinema has evolved and improved in the past two decades.
The world is bigger but, not necessarily better in Wes Ball’s Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials; an exciting but a seemingly uninventive - and lengthy - second chapter book-to-screen adaptation of James Dashner’s young adult fantasy series, whose overly complex world fails to make an impression.
Written by the returning screenwriter T.S Nowlin, The Scorch Trials picks up right where the first movie left off; where Thomas (O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers were rescued from the maze trials by a group of secretive officials before being transported to a secure facility.
After being given a chance to catch a much-needed break, Thomas –along with Newt (Brodie-Sangster), Minho (Lee) and Teresa (Scodelario)—don’t know what to make of their new surroundings; a shady-looking science facility run by the even shadier boss-man, Janson (Gillen).
Subjected to a series of complicated tests and questions, the group soon discovers that there is more to the organization than it meets the eye, with Thomas once again crossing paths with WCKD; the notorious Killzone Experiment Department that tests teenagers to battle a post-apocalyptic threat. Their only hope is to find the resistance group called the Right Arm, however, they first must escape and cross the Scorch; a treacherous wasteland populated by infested zombies known as Cranks.
Moving away from the source material and into a world of its own - a move which might not impress the book fans too much - The Scorch Trials kicks things off to a promising and there is an impressive amount of intensity and intrigue present from the story’s beginning. However, the suspense is quickly eradicated when the chase sequences take effect and although, The Scorch Trials does seem a little more competent in putting together a few effective action set pieces set against a Mad Max-inspired backdrop than its predecessor, the repetitiveness and the unoriginality of it all can be a little disruptive to the overall experience.
O’Brien seems to have settled into his role quite nicely and the young actor was able to carry the movie relatively well while the rest of the Gladers aren’t really given any weight to carry, except of course, the exceptionally-hefty dialogue which the production could have done without. Aiden Gillen - Game of Thrones’ “Littlefinger” - is devilish enough as the underhanded security office while, while Breaking Bad’s Esposito - who plays an eccentric gang leader named Jorge - is a wonderful addition to the series.
There is a hell of a lot of running - and then some - in The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials and although, the movie tries to stay true to its roots, there’s not a lot of direction involved in the process. It’s exciting but, there is very little depth or poignancy to the story and while the movie will probably appeal to the fans of the first film, there’s not a lot of reason to believe it will convince the rest who are new to the happenings.
If you are in the mood for an uncomplicated, lighthearted and a feel-good romantic-comedy viewing, then Nancy Meyers is the one to turn to for help. Known for movies such as Private Benjamin, Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday, the 65 year-old writer-director – who is often referred to as the female version of Woody Allen – always delivers and she does so again with The Intern: a likable cross-generation comedy that is kept afloat by a dependably engaging script and a couple of amiable lead performances.
Set in New York City, The Intern is centered on Ben Whittaker (De Niro); a 70-year-old widower who has become frustrated with the retirement lifestyle and is desperate for something to fill that ‘hole’ in his now, mundane and predictable everyday existence. Luckily, his prayers are soon answered, when he comes across an advertisement for a senior internship program at an online fashion company, founded by the high-strung CEO, Jules Ostin (Hathaway).
Ben applies and is soon accepted, ultimately landing a spot as Jules very own personal assistant. However, Jules is not so keen on the idea and doesn’t really know how to deal with the unusually well-mannered senior, deciding its best to keep him at an arm’s length. Nevertheless, Ben – an extremely patient man who may not be particularly tech savvy but knows a thing or two about life– soon finds a way to get closer to his boss and offer her the much-needed support, just in time when her career and position of power is at stake.
There is something awfully comforting about watching a Nancy Meyers film, as not only are her movies pleasing to the eye –her movie sets have ended up wondering onto the pages of numerous decorating catalogues over the years – but there is also something terribly gratifying in knowing how her stories will turn out in the end. Straightforward and extremely likable, the same goes for her latest directorial effort, a movie which may not be on the same creative level as Something’s Gotta Give perhaps, but still has plenty of its own harmless charms – no matter how far-fetched they may seem – to earn a warm viewing recommendation; a stamp of approval aimed mainly at a slightly older audience.
Stuck somewhere between a buddy-comedy and a romantic drama, The Intern is not entirely flawless and Meyers seems to have had a little trouble in setting out an even tone throughout; additionally, the subplot involving Rene Russo – who plays the company masseuse– is never really looked into or explored. However, it’s the two leads that keep The Intern from falling apart as both De Niro and Hathaway bring so much heart and chemistry to their respective roles that it makes it awfully difficult not to be drawn into their white-collar world.
Easygoing, likeable and perhaps a little too safe, The Intern is not Meyers’ best work to date but, it’s reliable and entertaining. What more do you need?