Film Review: ‘The Love Punch’ [City Screen, York]

By April 26, 2014 November 6th, 2016 Film, Reviews

There’s an air of inevitability surrounding films like ‘The Love Punch’. From the minute you see the trailer you’re entirely clear what you’re in for, and that is a ridiculous, stupid, farcical attempt at a play on the heist caper mixed in with some wildly hit and miss comedy, and you sigh. Every iota of this film breathes that it should be on TV at two in the afternoon on a weekday to temporarily placate the unwell until they move on to something more fulfilling about half way through. There is, however, always hope that first impressions are wrong and it’s a deceptive masterpiece after all.

It isn’t. Despite both Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson’s best efforts, it very quickly devolves in to a land of stale jokes, stereotypes and baffling scenes intended to be funny but end up just being annoying. One could say it’s tough to make a truly mediocre film, but unfortunately Joel Hopkins has epitomised it here, with the tired script only being invigorated by the strong cast, particularly Timothy Spall, who comes in with an amusing, scenery chewing performance that does bring a smile, but those moments are sadly few and far between.

It may be that the film is attempting to be a throwback to the heist comedies of past decades, and its jokes are thus deliberately corny, but that doesn’t mean they have to be downright unbearable for large swathes where it feels like a release to stare wilfully at the ground rather than up at the screen. It’s only part way saved by the concerted effort by a cast that really tries to bring life to a dead script, but sadly they can only elevated it to decidedly boring. A shame.


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