MPI // 2011 // 87 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // December 1st, 2011
Two sets of bank robbers. One sticky heist.
What in the world was McDreamy thinking?
The story of Flypaper kicks off when separate teams of robbers -- two clumsy hicks who plan on blowing up the ATMs, and an aggressive high-tech trio aiming to break into the vault -- hit the same bank at the same time. It goes without saying that two sets of criminals taking over one location can only result in chaos. Before you know it, both hostages and bad guys start mysteriously dying. Enter a courageous customer (Patrick Dempsey, Grey's Anatomy) and a frightened bank teller (Ashley Judd, Twisted) who embark on their own secret mission to solve the puzzle and hopefully save the day before everyone kicks the bucket.
Flypaper is, without a doubt, one of the most moronic, unnecessary films of the year. I know this may sound a bit harsh, but Rob Minkoff's new crime comedy really messes up when it comes to delivering big laughs. No matter how enticing the concept may sound, viewers are treated to an incredibly contrived story overloaded with embarrassingly lame jokes, countless awkward plot twists, and a group of dumb lifeless characters I hope we'll never have to meet on the big screen ever again.
So, what exactly went wrong? Truth be told, most of the weakness behind Flypaper's ultimate demise can be attributed to the messy script by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who rose to fame with the outrageously hilarious The Hangover. Despite the duo's obvious ability to write something funny, Moore and Lucas really screwed the pooch on this one, thinking they could simply serve audiences whatever popped into their heads. Based on a rather amusing idea, this could've been a lot better, but somewhere along the way the screenwriters got a little too lazy.
What was supposed to become a fast-paced, witty comedy turns out to be nothing but a dragging, idiotic experience tortured by an abundance of bad slapstick, unfunny dialogue, and disconcerting characters. The robbers are of the worst nature, portrayed as utterly incompetent human beings who are good at only one thing: making silly threats and engage in overlong, vulgar verbal fights. Although Scott and Moore tried to put a spin on the genre by pitting two opposite gangs against each other, all they could think of was a hick duo named Peanut Butter and Jelly facing off against a trio of wannabe pros who carry big guns but are unable to take control of, well, anything.
The shallowness of these characters turns into one of the film's biggest downfalls, because for this kind of story to provoke laughs, the characters require witty personalities and compelling traits. You won't find any of that in Flypaper. No, all we get are bad guys yelling at each other while some of the hostages try to find a way out of the bank. Dempsey's Tripp is the leader of the pack; a good-looking customer who desperately tries to be witty, but most of the dialogue he utters just makes you want to punch him in the face. He also casually flirts with Judd's Kaitlin, whose character is a featured lead for no apparent reason.
When people start dying, everyone in the bank sets off to find the mysterious shooter, which leads to a series of ridiculous, implausible twists and lame revelations. Several shootouts, explosions, and a few brawls are used to pad the running time, but that's all the excitement we get. Unless you're just dying to see Patrick Dempsey play an eccentric weirdo who's been off his meds for too long, Flypaper will most likely not cater to your cinematic needs. The script's bad, the dialogue stinks and the acting lacks energy.
The only thing Flypaper (Blu-ray) has going for it is the 2.35:1/1080p high-definition transfer, which boasts a solid presentation complete with sharp image, accurate black and white levels, and plenty of color vibrancy. The film also carries a satisfying 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. The bonus features include a horde of overlong cast and crew interviews, and that's it.
As a film selected to screen at Sundance, I expected Flypaper to at least be watchable. But, as it turns out, it's nothing but a painful 87-minute viewing experience that feels like two hours. Even Patrick Dempsey's charm can't save this one.
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Scales of Justice
* 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated