Meewella | Critic

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Tag: Marc Spicer

QuickView: Family Switch (2023)

“This is a situation that has never happened before.”

Jess Walker

The only new idea Netflix’s unbearably bland Christmas body-swap brings is that, rather than a pair trading places, this time it’s an entire family. The female leads deliver the most convincing performances though their characters are also better written — most will recognise the expressive Emma Myers as Wednesday Addams’ best friend, whilst Jennifer Garner brings prior body swap experience from 13 Going On 30. In one scene the family members describe their situation by referencing the titles of a dozen other body swap movies, the writers perhaps hoping that by lampshading how hackneyed the concept is, we will forgive their derivative mess of a script. Logic rarely rears its head — Wyatt’s Yale interview is inexplicably held in a classroom at his school rather than at, say, Yale — and often the shenanigans require characters to forget the basic premise, so that we can have adults engage entirely inappropriately at a teenage party or schoolkids instantly forget they think a child is a loser. The less said about the cringe-inducing scene in which the siblings (in their parents’ bodies) are goaded into kissing the better. Eventually the family are required to learn the most basic of lessons — that they do care about one another — which perhaps is an achievement since I certainly struggled to care about this collection of stock characters sketched in the broadest manner possible. Switch this out for any other body swap movie instead.


QuickView: Escape Room (2019)

“Survival is a CHOICE.”

Jason Walker

Once the latest craze becomes mainstream, it is only a matter of time before Hollywood seeks to cash in with a formulaic script and general disregard for the specific nuance of its subject matter. Escape Room‘s by-the-numbers horror is doubly burdened by the fact that the Saw series has already trodden much of this ground with a sharper bite. The film is rarely sympathetic towards its victims, lured into and trapped in a series of deadly puzzle rooms, treating their past trauma merely as plot points. There is mild entertainment to be found in the initial stages as the strangers meet and realise their circumstance. From there it swiftly loses its way, less engaging the more elaborate it becomes.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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