The Family Filmgoer
A pretty hilarious off-the-wall crime comedy
“HIT & RUN,” Rated R — Action comedy fans among college-age filmgoers will appreciate the crazy, offbeat nature of “Hit & Run.” However, the strong profanity, crude sexual language and weird instance of nudity in the film definitely land it in 17-and-older territory. Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard, who wrote the screenplay and co-directed with David Palmer) is living a lie. His idyllic rural life in Southern California with his beloved Annie (Kristen Bell) doesn’t include telling her that he has a past and that it’s catching up with him. Annie, an academic, has a chance to teach at a big university in Los Angeles. Charlie promises to go there with her. What he fails to mention is that he’s in the witness protection program and that moving to L.A. will make him a target. As soon as they set off in his vintage Lincoln Continental, things go crazy. Randy (Tom Arnold), the semi-competent federal marshal charged with protecting Charlie, tries to stop him, but he keeps crashing his car and knocking himself out. Annie’s jealous ex (Michael Rosenbaum) gets word to Charlie’s former criminal cohorts, who are out of prison. They are led by the volatile Alex Demitri (Bradley Cooper, barely recognizable in dreadlocks), intent on revenge. For some reason this movie is a total hoot.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The script includes strong profanity, crudely explicit sexual language, and homophobic slurs. A group of elderly people about to have a sex party in a motel are seen totally nude. The mayhem includes crazy car chases, a couple of bloody fist fights, gunplay and threats.
Robert Pattinson earns his adult acting chops in this pretentious cautionary tale of our time
“COSMOPOLIS,” Rated R, Limited Release — Philosophically inclined film fanciers 17 and older may find much profundity in “Cosomopolis,” adapted by director David Cronenberg from a novel by Don DeLillo. This fable about the downfall of a 28-year-old billionaire as society crumbles around him includes highly explicit sexual situations and nudity that make it problematic even for high-school seniors. And, anyway, the irritatingly enigmatic dialogue, which may work great in a literary novel but not so well on film, would likely put them off. Robert Pattinson, vampire heartthrob from the “Twilight Saga” films, moves easily from that PG-13 netherworld into an R-rated land of gaseous cinematic pretension. As emotionally dead billionaire Eric Packer, he spends most of the film in a huge stretch limo, trying to get across gnarled Manhattan streets to his barber. Along the way, rioters fling dead rats, symbolic of the elite 1 percent to which Eric belongs. They deface his limo and set fires (there’s an implied, nongraphic self-immolation) to make their point. Eric has explicit, very talky sexual encounters with brainy women, except for his new wife (Sarah Gadon), who seems to despise him. He coolly commits a murder. He knows that his empire is collapsing and that he’s under threat of assassination himself.
THE BOTTOM LINE: In addition to explicitly mimed sexual situations and nudity, the film includes graphic gun violence and stabbings. Characters drink and smoke and use some profanity.
Sylvester Stallone and his growing gang of past middle-age action heroes blow up more stuff
“THE EXPENDABLES 2,” Rated R — There ought to be enough heavy gunfire, explosions and macho banter in this sequel (to “The Expendables,” R, 2010) to satisfy action movie aficionados 16 and older, despite the advanced median age of the cast. The mayhem involves enough spattered blood (though it has a fake, post-production look to it) to earn an R and make the film problematic for under-16s and surely not for middle-schoolers. Sylvester Stallone returns as special-ops mercenary Barney Ross. In a prologue, he and his team, including Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) and Toll Road (Randy Couture) rescue old compadre Trench (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from captivity and torture in Nepal. After that, Barney’s antagonistic CIA contact, Church (Bruce Willis), sends him on a mission to retrieve stolen weapons-grade plutonium from a villain named Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme, great as a bad guy) in an old Soviet-era mine. When Vilain hurts the team’s youngest member Bill The Kid (Liam Hemsworth), it gets personal. Ross and the guys pretend to be cold mercenaries, but they can’t help saving women and children and whole villages along the way. Oh, and Chuck Norris makes an appearance as a one-time cohort. The movie is silly and jingoistic and it stereotypes other cultures, but it is mostly just bombastic fun.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The action features multiple gun battles and explosions, as well as martial arts combat and fights, with and without brass knuckles and chains. The blood flies as bullets hit and knives sink in, but the gore really isn’t graphic for an R-rated film. Characters use occasional profanity, and there is mild sexual innuendo.