5.4 C
New York
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Advertisement

Special Correspondents (TheaterByte Movie Review)

special-corespondents-posterFrank Bonneville (Eric Bana) is an arrogant, egocentric radio reporter for New York’s low end Q365News station. With assistant Claire Maddox (Kelly Macdonald) in tow, Frank pretends to be a detective and inveigles his way into a hotel murder scene. After being outed by a real NPYD detective,  Frank and his sound technician Ian Finch (Ricky Gervais) still manage to report the story way ahead of the other NYC radio stations. Station boss Geoffrey Mallard (Kevin Pollak) tells Frank that any such future stunts will get him fired. Dumpy Ian and his very attractive wife Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) are attending a black-tie event when Mallard interjects himself into their evening and tells his soundman to leave immediately for a breaking news story that may take all night. An unattended Eleanor gets approached by Frank (unaware that she is Ian’s wife), special-correspondents-still-2and one thing leads to another as the couple  enjoys a quickie in Eleanor and Ian’s  apartment.

The following day, Mallard tells Frank to cover a supposed rebel uprising in Ecuador and to take Ian with him. But there is a major snag. Eleanor has now left Ian who, thinking that he was discarding an envelope with a long letter to his wife, mistakenly pitches the envelope that contains the Ecuador airline tickets and both of their American passports. Now in a quandary, Ian and Frank visit Ian’s friends, Brigida (America Ferrara) and Domingo (Raul Castillo) who run a restaurant across the street from the radio station. Ian comes up with a great idea: they will “broadcast” from an empty room above the restaurant using Ian’s professional sound effects while Brigida and Domingo will deliver authentic background Spanish dialogue.

special-correspondents-still-3Ian and Frank start sending regular reports from the “frontlines” and the demand for their stories skyrockets. As the pair find themselves in a media duel with TV reporter John Baker (Benjamin Bratt), they feel compelled to create continually new and more hazardous situations. The massive publicity that the news flashes garner encourage Eleanor to set up a “Heroes” fund-raising scheme complete with orange logo teeshirts and original songs as the money starts rolling in. Matters escalate when the duo’s rumor about the so-called mastermind behind the Ecuadorean crisis, “Emilio Santiago Alvarez,” reaches the US State Department and Secretary of State (Mimi Kuzyk). The two men,  now believed to be in imminent danger,  are urged to reach the US Embassy in Quito so that they can return home at once. Of course this is impossible, so Frank and Ian must cook up a phony hostage situation for themselves, a move that spectacularly backfires and kicks the rest of the story into high gear.

[youtube httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kKTFAEQgSY&w=640&h=360]

In the tradition of fake war propaganda films like Wag the Dog and zany odd couple road movies like The Road to Hong Kong (by the way, both are far better cinematic efforts),  Special Correspondents is a comedic roller coaster ride that ultimately disappoints. The chemistry between comedian/writer/director Gervais (The Office) and special-correspondents-still-4straight man Bana (The Hulk) seems on-again-off-again as both must contend with Gervais’ frequently awkward script. Subtlety has never been a Gervais trademark and, with humor that rarely rises above the “frat boy” level, this film becomes one that is mostly for fans of the diminutive Englishman. More’s the pity as Vera Farmiga turns in a truly funny, hyperbolic depiction of the not-so-long-suffering wife while the talented Kelly Macdonald provides the perfectly understated foil as Ian Finch’s love-at-a-distance colleague.  Special Correspondents was screened in April 2016 at the Tribeca Film Festival and may be currently viewed exclusively on Netflix.

Special Correspondents (TheaterByte Movie Review)
2.5 / 5 TheaterByte Rating
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 5 Users (0 votes)
Bron Studios/NetflixStudios & Distributors
TV-MARating Certificate
USA/CanadaCountry
EnglishLanguage
100 Mins.Run Time
1.85:1Aspect Ratio
Ricky GervaisDirector
Ricky GervaisWriter
29 April 2016 (Internet)Release Date
The Film
Summary
Special Correspondents is a comedic roller coaster ride that ultimately disappoints, but Vera Farmiga puts in a brilliant comedic turn as Gervais' wife. This is one Netflix original that doesn't live up to the brand's usual standards.
What people say... Login to rate
Order by:

Be the first to leave a review.

User Avatar User Avatar
Verified
{{{ review.rating_title }}}
{{{review.rating_comment | nl2br}}}

This review has no replies yet.

Avatar
Show more
Show more
{{ pageNumber+1 }}

Advertisement

Related Articles

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.

Popeye: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent release on Blu-ray of this long maligned but still fun to watch film.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
724FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.

Popeye: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent release on Blu-ray of this long maligned but still fun to watch film.

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy is arriving for the first time on 4K Ultra HD remastered in Dolby Vision and overseen by Peter...

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.
%d bloggers like this: