6.5/10 The third and latest full length feature film directorial effort from actor/writer/director Ricky Gervais, “Special Correspondents” starts strong with a wonderfully original premise but ultimately stutters its way to the finish line as the film goes off the rails in the final act. I curiously looked up reviews for this film on Rotten Tomatoes and was rather shocked to see such low reviews. A lot of the reviewers expected some comedic yet deep take on the media and how easily news can be manipulated and how the audience falls for it but that is simply not what the film is about and therefore a null and void critique. This film is just a fun and silly buddy comedy with essentially a unique story. It definitely has its fair share of problems but let’s start out with the positives first. The cast was great, is having a ton of fun and it was refreshing to see Eric Bana play against type from his usual roles. The film is also well casted as the supporting characters are recognizable names who all do a solid job with their roles. There are some funny moments that had me giggling. The soundtrack is pretty solid and the pacing is excellent as the film never overstays its welcome. I think the general premise was the best part and how these two characters have to keep up a lie that dramatically escalates as they become more and more creative with how to keep the lie going. As for the flaws, as I pointed out earlier, the final 10 minutes become so over the top as any passable realism falls way to ridiculously insulting, eye rolling moments. America Ferrera and Raúl Castillo play a helpful couple and although Ferrera in particular is fantastic, their characters are so stupid that there is no way they could run their own business and they come across as 2D cartoon characters as opposed to believable supporting players. Although there were a few moments I found funny, for a comedy, some of the other jokes fall flat and overall this could have been a lot funnier than it ended up being. I enjoyed that Vera Farmiga had a sizeable role but even her character arc became more over the top and less believable as the film moved along. Overall this is not the complete disaster that critics claim it to be, although it is also in no way a new comedy classic. This is a decent one time watch that I found to be light hearted and charming with some decent emotional moments. It is definitely a step up from the fairly bad “The Invention of Lying”. Keep your expectations in check and you might find that these correspondents are somewhat special after all.
#TheGoldfinch2 / #TheSubventionOfLying / #StarringEcuadorFerrera / #UpInTheAffair / #RadioBattleStations / #ShootingFranks