What Men Want Review

Hollywood, we need to talk. Nobody on the Internet to multi-billion dollar corporations.

Are you guys Ok?

I ask because I’m starting to get slightly concerned about all these remakes. I mean, I get remaking big ticket films like The Lion King – they have huge name recognition and are pretty much guaranteed to be a licence to print money. I can’t stand or approve of this in the slightest but I understand it.

But rebooting a barely remembered 2000 Mel Gibson vehicle which was originally intended as a Tim Allen vehicle, was remade in China in 2011 and even this has been in development hell since 2009 with Cameron Diaz (remember her?) lined up to star. Trust me, films aren’t like wine whereupon the longer you leave them the nicer they get.

But, if your reaching for stuff like this, is anyone suggesting new films to you guys anymore? Are you under that much pressure from shareholders that even the 20 million dollar films have to be remade? Or was this just such an amazing idea that you couldn’t let it lie?

Also, in the original film, Gibsons character was an ad executive. In this,  Taraji P. Henson’s character is a sports agent, which brings up the age old question of is this film going to be better than Jerry Mcquire? Of course it isn’t. Then why are you bothering?

Anyway, Henson’s character gets the ability to read men’s minds after an incident involving a psychic, a cup of tea, lots of booze and a bump on the head. Obligatory “Yeah we’ve all had nights like that” joke here.

Naturally she tries to use this to her advantage in her work and personal live, hi-jinks ensue, lessons are learned I wonder why this film is 117 minutes instead of around the 90 to 100 minute mark as well as how is this film is now a 15 when it could (and indeed should have been a 12A.)

You could write the plot from the off and well, look I get that comedy is subjective but I didn’t laugh once, my wife didn’t laugh once and neither did anyone else in my screening. Which means that were left with the idea of a female professional in the me-too era, getting the ability to read men’s minds and see how they’ve been helping or hindering her career. The chance for a social satire is incredibly… wasted as it doesn’t even enter the films head for more than maybe a moment or two.

Mostly it’s just used to set up obvious jokes with even more obvious punchlines. You’ll see where every plot thread is going with very little effort and whilst the film does have something of a heart and tries for a heartwarming end it’s nothing that you haven’t seen in a dozen other films that don’t have psychic powers in the mix.

Actually, thinking about it, were you to remove the psychic powers from the psychic powers movie then it wouldn’t really be affected. Hell, the film pulls a liar revealed plot out of nowhere when it realizes that it’s central plank is paper thin and not really going anywhere beyond crude sex jokes.

In fact i’d hesitate to say that the ‘best jokes’ were in the trailer but I will go so far as to say that the least awful jokes were. I maybe smiled twice but the films not completely hopeless. Like I said, there is something of a heart under all the unfunny jokes, side characters making the most of their moment in probably improvised scenes that needed another take or six, way too many sex jokes for me and I’ve defiantly seen worse. The morals solid but it just didn’t click. One scene that I think was meant to see a lot of threads coming together and a big farce style finale just fell completely flat and could have been handled a lot better.

I have no idea why this film was made a reboot of a near 20 year old film with 47 on Metacritic and a box office of 374 million. The chance for social satire or observation are completely wasted and what we get instead is an utterly generic film about a woman learning life lessons that we’ve seen done in a hundred other, better films.

My Score- Skip It



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