Starring: Alex Magaña, Matt Lowe, Rodney Mason
Director: Alex Magaña
Running Time: 119 mins
Slapped! The Movie is an American film about two friends who envy one another’s lives, and after being slapped by a mysterious hobo, they swap bodies. Stuck as one another, they must do everything possible to get things back to normal.
The body swap genre has always been somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine. Although the majority of films in the genre are generally terrible (Freaky Friday, Dating The Enemy and others), they do often hold a pleasantly ridiculous vibe that makes for an entertaining watch.
When it comes to Slapped! The Movie, however, not only does it work as an entertaining body swap flick, but the film is also a genuinely funny and entertaining comedy, complete with a handful of great laughs throughout, and a fun-loving, relaxed atmosphere that never takes itself too seriously, as the worst body swap movies often do.
Let’s start off with how the movie tells its story, and why it works so much better than many others in the same sphere. Above all, it’s the fact that Slapped doesn’t take things too seriously, and never gets caught up in any fantasy mumbo-jumbo, nor any overtly dramatic soul-searching that often drags this premise down in many films.
As a result, the movie is meant to be entertaining through and through, and given that it doesn’t waste time with excessive drama or fantasy, and instead goes all out with a crude but enjoyable sense of humour from start to finish, it’s all a genuinely entertaining and easy-going watch, something that I really appreciated having seen so many failures before with a similar premise.
So, what really makes this film work is actually its comedy, which is something I didn’t expect to be saying at the start. Taking inspiration from fairly crass comedies like American Pie, I was worried that the film would be completely devoid of intelligence, instead relying on shock value and gross-out comedy to keep things afloat.
And while I can’t deny that a lot of the humour here is pretty crude, it all works rather well in practice. A lot of indie films that try to carry off the same raucous attitude as big-budget Hollywood comedies really struggle to make you laugh, but Slapped has a good screenplay and a strong enough sense of humour to keep you thoroughly entertained throughout, even provoking a few big gut laughs from me at times, which I was hugely impressed by.
In that, it’s clear that, as a comedy, the film works really well, and that success carries over to the fantasy side of the story, with a fun-loving and less-than-serious atmosphere allowing you to sit back and relax as whatever ridiculous antics unfold before you.
A final positive comes in the form of the two lead performances from Alex Magaña and Matt Lowe, who do a great job as the best friends that end up switching bodies. As well as having to carry off the personality of another character, their energetic and entertaining presence on screen always adds to the fun factor of the comedy at hand, and even though it is all a little crude, Magaña and Lowe play up to those juvenile sensibilities in just the right way to make it funny.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with Slapped! The Movie. However, if were to have one problem with the film, it would be that it’s not particularly well paced, and the combination of its rather overlong runtime and lack of rapid-fire rhythm occasionally dilutes the raucous and raunchy comedy it’s trying to be.
The best comedies of the same genre keep you laughing at every single moment, barely leaving a moment to breathe, but as such pulling you in further to an endless cycle of gags and laughs. This film, on the other hand, doesn’t quite manage to do that, and there’s often a little too much silence or waiting in between jokes where there’s little to really enjoy. When the gags come along, they almost always land, but the film lacks a good rhythm that can carry you from joke to joke in a consistent and thoroughly entertaining way.
In the end, however, Slapped! The Movie does exactly what it aims to do, and does it far better than most other films of the same genre. A fun body swap flick that never takes itself too seriously, it’s a film with great comedy and two very entertaining performances, meaning that you can sit back and enjoy right the way through, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.5 overall.