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Geddo Habibi: Cringingly Irritating Egyptian Comedy
Fekreya (Boshra) is a British-raised Egyptian who insists on being called Vicky. Completely broke and out of her job after the stock market crash, she decides visit her estranged grandfather Hussein (Yaseen), who is on his deathbed in Egypt. As his sole heir, she stands to inherit a fortune which would effectively cure her financial woes. Predictably, she gets to Egypt, meets her granddad and after a thorny adjustment period, they become best buds.
The film kicks off with an awful opening credits sequence that really sets up how irritating Vicky’s character is. It was during this sequence that this reviewer first found herself cringing; something that would be repeated quite frequently throughout the rest of its running time. The film’s first act involves Vicky and her roommate harping on about the money Vicky stands to inherit if her grandfather would just die already. The movie paints the roommate as the more awful of the two, although Vicky is every bit as distasteful.
The middle of the film revolves around twenty-something Vicky’s friendship with a bunch of teenage boys and the problems this poses for her grandfather who thinks it isn’t proper. Cue a bunch of partying scenes and her granddad coming home to find kids making out and a random guy offering him a spliff.
The final act has Vicky and her granddad tracking down a former flame of his who, lo and behold, has a grandson who would be perfect for Vicky. This is when the film takes an inexplicable turn for the preachy which, all things considered, is still a definite upgrade to everything that preceded it. It extols, quite heavy-handedly, the virtues of real-love marriages as opposed to arranged ones, and gives Vicky the happy ending she’d been dreaming of forever; a husband.
678 had Boshra showcasing some decent dramatic chops and this reviewer would like to implore her to stick to drama because her comedic timing is completely off. Vicky was something along the lines of a manic, grossly materialistic person until she falls in love and suddenly calms down. It’s a very unlikable character and one that’s frankly highly irritating mainly due to the thrashing around that passes as physical comedy. It was the visual equivalent of nails on a chalk board. On the plus side though, Boshra has a pretty decent English accent.
The rest of the actors didn’t fare much better. Yaseen looks remarkably healthy and active for someone who’s knocking on the doors of death, while Abdel Aziz looks distractingly botoxed and is made up to look like a raccoon. Meanwhile, Fahmy is so bland that he barely registers on screen.
The actors involved in this movie are capable of so much better which makes this wreck even more depressing.
Peter Jackson’s fourteen-year-long Middle-Earth adventure has finally come to a close with the third and final instalment Bilgo Baggins’ journey with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies; a slightly bloated, but generally successful, finale that boasts plenty of action and technical superiority over its immediate predecessors.
Hitting the ground running and wasting no time in plunging audiences in the deep-end, The Battle of the Five Armies begins exactly where the second film left off, with Smaug (once again voiced superbly by Cumberbatch) setting Lake-town ablaze as Bilbo (Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Armitage) and his army of loyal dwarf-followers watch from the Lonely Mountain.
After escaping imprisonment, Bard (Evans) slays Smaug, leaving the endless treasures of the mountain unguarded for Bilbo, Thorin and co. to continue their quest. But as news spreads of Smaug's demise, the lure of the mountain's coveted riches triggers an inevitable path to war.
A With a running time of just over two hours, The Battle of the Five Armies is the shortest of all of The Hobbit entries, though it’s also the most ambitious and visually-creative of the lot. The cinematography is exquisite and the CGI techniques seem to have been pushed to their very limit.
The cast is, as always, steadfast and dependable with Armitage delivering a blockbuster performance as Thorin, though Freeman’s usual whimsical nature and superb comic timing is, surprisingly, underused. Similarly, the rest of the cast, including Lilly as the she-elf, Evans, as the newly-emerged leader of Lake-town, and McKellen take a back-seat.
With this being the finale, it plays out like a climax and is heavy on the action and not much else – as a standalone film, it may feel a little hollow for some, but for fans, it's a fittingly spectacular conclusion to the series.
Although there are moments of genuine hilarity to be found in the follow-up to the delightfully raunchy 2011 comedy, Horrible Bosses, it’s hard not to wince at just how eager and desperate it is to please.
Directed by Sean Anders – who also co-wrote the script along with John Morris – Horrible Bosses 2 once again follows the turbulent, and at times abstract, lives of Nick (Bateman), Kurt (Sudeikis) and Dale (Day); three good friends who, after successfully managing to free themselves of their ‘horrible bosses’, are now contemplating starting a new business together with their invention, the Shower Buddy; an elaborate and ever-so-slightly ridiculous shower head inspired by car washes.
Their efforts attract the attention of wealthy retail tycoon, Bert Hanson (Waltz), who offers to fund their business if they can produce 100,000 units. After taking out a loan, renting a warehouse and hiring employees, Hanson takes the stock but back out of the deal, leaving the three friends in six-figure debt.
Considering that their previous plot of murdering their bosses didn’t quite go as planned, the three friends decide to go in another direction; kidnap Bert’s extremely spoiled and arrogant son, Rex (Pine), and ask for a hefty ransom. However, their seemingly bullet-proof plan goes haywire when Rex – a shady figure like his father – quickly turns the tables on the dim-witted threesome with a devious scheme of his own.
Just like many comedy sequels – see Hangover II, Dumb and Dumber Too – the payoff is never quite as satisfying as the first-time around. Relying on the same brand of humour, Horrible Bosses 2 just isn’t as funny as its predecessor and becomes repetitive pretty early on – particularly the crass rape jokes.
Only Chris Pine comes out of the other end with any dignity, bringing his deliciously devious character to life, with the always brilliant Christoph Waltz needlessly tarnishing his recent rich vein of form with what is a completely unnecessary sequel. Though the cast is packed to the rim with popular and likeable actors, all seem to be going through the motions – though the blame for that should fall squarely on the monotonous, tedious and cringingly uncreative script.
At its very core, the film is flawed. Those who wronged our three heroes in the first film were to be condemned to murder. This time round, the son of the man who did them wrong is condemned to a kidnapping. Sequels should build and go bigger than the original; Horrible Bosses 2 bafflingly aims lower.