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Tek Tek Bom: Another Mohamed Saad Slapstick Flick
Mohamed Saad plays Tika, an underdog Egyptian who sells toys for a living. A poor but good man, Tika's story begins on his wedding night which turns from the happiest night of his life to the most devastating memory, as the January 25th revolution breaks out on the exact same night. The riots end up destroying his wedding, and he and his wife (Dorra) both hide with no intentions of getting involved in what's happening.
They accidentally come across a neighbourhood gang that's planning to take advantage of the police's absence and lack of public security. After witnessing their plans, Tika is forced to join their next heist and become a member of the gang.
At one point, Tika gets involved in a nearby burglary and prevents the elderly George (Labeeb) and his family from harm by standing up to the thugs. With such a heroic act, the neighbourhood celebrates his bravery after things settle down a. As a result he is assigned as the neighbourhood patrol leader. Matters take a turn for the worse though, when Tika and his patrol members get thrown into jail after a misunderstanding, and get framed for a murder he didn't commit.
In relation to Saad's previous projects, Tek Tek Boom isn't as bad as we feared, but it lacks that one hook or gimmick that has usually carried his other films. As for the main plot, it jumps from one situation to another with no specific destination or realistic chain of connection. It's pretty exhausting.
In an attempt to tackle more dramatic roles as an actor, you'll be exposed to the cringing sight of Saad crying, hugging children and generally being a human being throughout. This is of course Saad's show, and all the other actors are quite peripheral. A real shame since Dorra in particular is able to combine charisma and comic timing in her role. Lotfy Labeeb and Gamal Ismail both play their parts well, but also get little screen time.
In short, Tek Tek Boom is far from Saad's worst films, but it is simply lacks on every level. You'll find yourself chuckling at most, and you may even enjoy his song about how he'd treat the Egyptian people if he was president.
The follow up to Carlos Saldanha’s vibrant animated feature, Rio – a film that grossed over half a billion dollars at the box office - finds the Brazilian-born filmmaker returning to the pulsating streets of Rio Di Janeiro, before setting off into the wilderness of the Amazon.
Picking up some time after the end of the first film, Rio 2 finds the Blue Macaws, Blu (voiced by Eisenberg) and Jewel (Hathaway), happily married and living a carefree life while raising their three hatchlings, Carla (Crow), Bia (Stenberg) and Tiago (Gagnon), at the Blue Bird Sanctuary.
However, their children’s overly-domesticated habits begin to worry Jewel, who is fearful that her children are slowly losing touch with nature and what it means to be a bird. So, when she hears that there may be a flock of Blue Macaws living in the Amazon rainforest, the family decides to fly across for a vacation and a bit of an investigation.
Once there, not only does the family discover that there is more of their kind in the world, but that the flock is led by none other than Jewel’s long-lost father, Eduardo (Garcia). Jewel soon finds herself toying with the prospect of moving her family there for good, while Blu – who now must prove himself to Jewel’s apathetic and unconvinced father – isn’t too sure whether he’s ready to give up his life in Rio. Meanwhile, Blu’s lifelong nemesis, Nigel the Cockatoo (Clement), who is no longer able to fly, follows the family to the rainforest in search of revenge.
Eisenberg and Hathaway return to reprise their roles as the lovable Blu and Jewel and, although their shared chemistry can still be felt throughout, it seems that their second outing is not as charming as their first. Clement is hilarious as the grouchy Nigel, while all of the supporting characters, excluding Chenoweth’s hysterical performance as Gabi – a poisonous frog hopelessly in love with Nigel – aren’t given much of the spotlight, apart from indulging in a few impromptu sing-offs, including yet another cringe worthy rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive.
Just like the original, Rio 2 dazzles with its vibrant and bubbly tone; the opening scenes of the New Year’s Eve celebration on the bustling streets of Rio Di Janeiro are breathtaking and Saldanha, succeeds in adapting the alluring and captivating magic of Brazil.
The story, unfortunately, is not as engaging the second time around and Saldanha seems to have sent the story on a downward spiral the minute he decided to step out of Rio and move his flock of birds into the back woods of the Amazon rainforest.
There are still plenty of thrills and spills, but had it not been for the infectious Brazilian music and a handful of interesting characters, this would have been a complete washout.
Those familiar with the Razzie winning duo, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, won’t be surprised to find their sixth directorial effort – a messy spoof of The Hunger Games – is just as awful as their previous efforts.
Set in a futuristic, dystopian world, where the country sits divided into twelve starving districts, the story follows Kantmiss Evershot (Walsh); a brave eighteen-year-old girl who has just volunteered take the place of her younger sister, Petunia (Hermansen) in the annual kill-or-be-killed, Starving Games.
Joining her on the stage is Peter Malarkey (Christian); a fellow District 12 volunteer and son of a baker, who has decided to use the opportunity to get close to Kantmiss, without realising the deadly consequences of his decision.
As the games begin, Kantmiss soon finds herself in the spotlight, when she begins outwitting and outsmarting her opponents; a strategy which doesn’t sit all too well with the games blood-thirsty organiser, President Snowballs (Bader).
Determined to win and get her hands on that special prize – a gift voucher for Subway and a partially eaten pickle – Kantmiss teams up with Peter and together they try to override bring down the system, all the while findng themselves in an increasingly romantic attachment, much to the dismay of Kantmiss’ boyfriend, Dale (Daughtrey).
This devastatingly poor excuse of a film is even worse than it sounds and ends up feeling like a chaotic compilation of outdated jokes and references, going all the way back the days of Titanic. Alongside this, apart from tearing up the premise of The Hunger Games, the script also takes endless stabs at other Hollywood blockbusters including James Cameron’s Avatar, and popular video games such as Birds and Fruit Ninja.
Surprisingly, twenty-six year old Walsh, who steps into the shoes of Jennifer Lawrence as District 12’s darling, is probably the only cast member worth mentioning, just about managing to hold her own despite the horrific task at hand.
These spoof films have somehow come to find a niche in Hollywood – think Scary Movie – relying on the toilet-humour loving American Pie generation. But even the staunchest fans of this very particular type of comedy will find it difficult to see any good in The Starving Games.