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Flawed concept equals a flawed movie, it's as simple as that really.

Main thing about this comedy is that its concept never feels like a very likely one and it's even somewhat offensive. Sure, comedies about death and dying people can still work out as something funny, as long as things are done in a somewhat more subtle way and the movie is more of a dark comedy type of movie. This movie is anything but subtle though. It's just another goofy comedy, in which we are supposed to laugh at a dying man, who's angry at everything and everybody in this world. Goofy comedy and death doesn't go together very well and it this movie truly was supposed to be touching and dramatic as well at parts, then it surely failed at it, all courtesy of its goofy comedy approach.

And what's with its concept anyway? The whole time I kept thinking to myself; 'No, this can't be all' and 'surely it's going to develop into something better and different soon'. The whole idea behind the movie feels flawed and not properly thought through at all. Why would a man even believe he has only 90 minutes to live in the first place and why would a doctor care so much to go after this one patient, who did nothing but give her a hard time. They try to come up with some reasons but it all feels so flimsy and again; not properly thought through at all.

And what still could have worked out as a sort of fun 'odyssey through the city, of a dying man', in which he meets all sort of crazy characters and gets mixed up into all sorts of silly situations, turns into more of a very flat travel from point A to B type of story, in which barely anything good, funny or very memorable is ever happening. I feel that it's because deep down in its core it's still trying to tell a serious and heartfelt story as well about redemption, which however is just as flat as the rest of the movie though, so needless to say that it doesn't work out very well.

Thing that also really doesn't work about the movie are the two separate different story lines involving the Robin Williams and Mila Kunis character. The movie tries to make it seem like both story lines are connected and parallel to each other but the two characters are just too different, with each their own things going on, that it just absolutely never feels like the story lines and characters are connected to each other. Things don't get much better though once the two different story lines come together and Robin Williams and Mila Kunis start to appear together in all of their scenes. Again, the two characters are far too different from each other and they also don't really share a good chemistry and connection. Guess the movie was trying to show how the two characters started to change and learn from each other but it all falls incredibly flat.

No, it's not like I absolutely hated watching this movie but it's just that barely anything about it ever works out very well. It's a typical example of a movie done by a director who really doesn't have a clue about what it takes to make a good and successful comedy. It's not like Phil Alden Robinson is completely inexperienced when it comes down to doing comedies but the last comedy he directed was done over 20 years ago and the last movie in general he directed was released 12 years ago. So perhaps it's no great surprise that the directing feels a bit rusty and the timing is off here and there.

It's also really hard to say for me if at least the fans of Robin Williams are going to like this movie. It's not an outrageous or too over-the-top performance by him, though the title and premise of the movie might suggest otherwise. To be honest, it feels like a movie role that basically could have been played by any other middle-aged actor, regardless of their experience with comedy. Not that Williams is ever terrible but he doesn't impress much either in my opinion. Peter Dinklage on the other hand was far more impressive, in a supporting role. The movie actually has a pretty impressive cast for a comedy of this sort, with also actors such as Melissa Leo involved and some other well known persons in some small cameos, of which James Earl Jones' is the best and most memorable one.

It's not a total disaster but it's nothing very good or remotely recommendable either.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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