Sunday, January 17, 2010

Up in the Air (2009)

Perhaps it's a generational thing, but when I see the name 'Reitman' in the opening credits of a film, I expect a film that will either be pure genius (any one of the Ghost Busters will do) or pure tosh (pretty much anything else, really). So, the son Reitman has a lot to live up to or he can only get better and better. I'm still not certain where Jason "Juno" Reitman fits in all of this.

Up in the Air has a lot to live up to, considering that it is following up the immensely popular and ridiculously overrated Juno. So far, the monetary returns have been pretty lukewarm, but the critical acclaim has been bestowed liberally from all fronts. So much so that it is one of the frontrunners for the upcoming Big Awards season. It is likely that it will get lucky tonight at the Globes. As for me, well ... I didn't really care for it that much.

Clooney plays Clooney, who is going for the coveted 10-million-air-mile mark to be the 7th man in history to do so (for American Airlines, it seems - who holds the record for Air France, Singapore Airlines, or Qantas is still up in the air - see what I did there?) He travels across the country to fire people, whose bosses lack the balls to do so. He spends his life up in the air (see what I did there?), meeting and bedding fellow air-mile-hoarders, like the effortlessly sexy and fantastic Vera Farmiga (Vera, call me). But his job is also on the line - actually, not his job, but the method with which he performs it. New graduate wunderkid Anna Kendrick (easily the best thing in the film) has plans to modernise the business model to cut costs. Will Clooney be able to reach the 10 million mark and have a chat with Sam Elliot's cow-pilot? See what I did there?

No, because somehow the film takes a fifteen-point turn and becomes increasingly sappy. And you know where you have to take your cynical, career-driven people to realise what real life is all about: somewhere in Midwest. Oh, and how come you can have Jason Bateman, Danny McBride and Zach Galifianakis in the same film and only give them a total of one funny line ("Today is the first time I took a crap in 12 days")?

I understand how topical the film is, but does it really bite instead of just bark like a sheep groomed like a poodle? I guess it was inevitable considering the theme, but I'm not too hot on watching a 100+ minutes infomercial of American Airlines and Hilton Hotels - at one point I was expecting Paris Hilton and her bffs to show up with their pets and acting chops.

If there's one thing to take out of this, it is that I can't wait to watch Anna Kendrick in a meatier role. Oh, and Vera - the offer still stands.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails