The movie is replete with bloody encounters, sly asides, and one-liners, but the tone is awkward and uneven.
Guy Ritchie directs with a deft touch, allowing things to move at a rapid clip while maintaining a light, sometimes humorous tone.
The psychological thriller "The Gift" subverts the "Fatal Attraction" genre by sprinkling it with a little "Usual Suspects" flavoring.
As a superhero movie, it falls into the "adequate" range of the spectrum - neither memorable nor forgettable.
An entertaining diversion - a good way to pass a couple of hours as late summer evenings lengthen - but not much more.
The film offers everything one could ask for from popcorn entertainment and its brand of action feels fresh and freewheeling.
U.S. Release Date: 2015-07-29
MPAA Rating: "R" (Profanity, Sexual Content)
Director: Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley
Cast: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steel Stebbins, Leslie Mann, Chris Hemsworth, Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Catherine Missal, Charlie Day
As with all episodic comedies, this one is hit-and-miss but there are enough "hits" to keep most viewers entertained.
Antoine Fuqua has crafted something unusual in this day of cookie-cutter blockbusters and overwrought dramas: a serious, sincere summer motion picture.
This is what happens when Hollywood starts out with a bad idea, miscasts all the roles, and executes everything badly in production and post-production.