Review: Hall Pass


Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Written by:Pete Jones, Peter Farrelly, Kevin Barnett, Bobby Farrelly
Starring: Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Richard Jenkins, Stephen Merchant
Released: March 3, 2011
Grade: B-

Hall Pass is bat shit crazy.  That’s the first thought that came to mind as the end credit started to roll.  There are a handful of scenes that are guaranteed to generate a reaction from the audience.  As to the kind of reaction… well, let’s just say this isn’t a film I’d be taking my grandmother to see.  I don’t think she’d appreciate the full frontal nudity and the human excrement.  Just a hunch.

I should have expected nothing less from the Farrelly brothers.  These are two guys who love to push the envelope when it comes to gross out comedy.  They wrote the scripts for such films as Dumb & Dumber, There’s Something About Mary and Shallow Hal.  Just when you think you’ve seen it all, they manage to stun you with something new.  Hall Pass will only solidify their reputation.

There are parts of this film that I will describe as “disgustingly entertaining”.  They left me sitting in my seat thinking “I can’t believe they just did that”.  There’s one scene involving a bathtub that will be a talking point.  If you like this kind of stuff, it’ll leave more of an impact than your standard comedy.

As for the storyline, it’s about two obnoxious guys who have been given a week off marriage by their wives.  They immediately think they can go out and seduce any girl they want but they soon realise that they’re horribly out of form.  Their approach is dreadful and their pick up lines are even worse.

It’s a wafer-thin premise but the film’s real problems revolve around its characters.  They’re all such schmucks.  There’s Something About Mary was a similarly styled comedy but it worked because you liked Ben Stiller.  He was cute.  You wanted to see him overcome his silly problems and get the girl in the end.  I can’t say the same here.  I hated Owen Wilson.  I really hated Jason Sudeikis.  No help is offered from the supporting cast either.  What’s with the babysitter?  What’s with the slimy baseball coach?  What’s with the budding DJ?

I enjoyed Hall Pass for its pure shock value but sadly, it’s lacking in a lot of other important areas.