Meewella | Critic

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Tag: Pinar Toprak

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: Captain Marvel (2019)

Captain Marvel poster

“I have nothing to prove to you.”

Carol Danvers

Those words during a fight late in the film ring like a challenge to detractors who feel threatened by female-led blockbusters. What Captain Marvel ably proves is what most already knew — that the Marvel superhero formula works just as well with a female lead — making it maddening that it has taken until the penultimate film of the decade-long three-phase MCU project to release one. Unfortunately fatigue is setting in with that formula and, where Black Panther shook things up by raising the bar for social and cultural exploration in a comicbook movie, Captain Marvel is largely content to play it safe in a sea of 90s nostalgia. The musical choices from the era are notable, with female fronted acts like Garbage and No Doubt setting a fun and rebellious tone to match Danvers’ own. Brie Larsen is great, though hamstrung slightly by an origin story which has Danvers slowly piecing together her memories so that her personality does not really crystallise until late in the film. The classic superhero action is fun as ever despite virtually non-existent stakes once her incredible powers are fully unleashed.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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