Starring: Ed Helms, Amanda Seyfried, Tracy Morgan
Director: Dito Montiel
Running Time: 89 mins
The Clapper is an American film about a professional audience member whose regular appearances on TV shows leads to him becoming the subject of a popular talk show, which encourages people to seek him out and interfere with his life.
There’s no denying that The Clapper is more than just a quirky comedy, but a film that wants to give a message about the age of social media and predatory entertainment. On that point, The Clapper works perfectly well, but it struggles to endear with subpar comedy, less-than-subtle satire and often more annoying than funny characters and twists.
Let’s start on the bright side, with the fact that The Clapper certainly has its heart in the right place with the message it’s aiming to deliver. With clear parallels to American late-night talk shows, along with an examination of the groupthink phenomenon that occurs on social media (similar to the very underrated The Circle), this is a film that certainly has a lot to say.
However, while The Clapper may be on the money when it comes to that message, it doesn’t exactly succeed in delivering that message in an entertaining or consistently interesting way. At times, as noble as it is, the film feels like it’s hammering you over the head with its central theme, worsened by satirical humour that’s a little too on-the-nose, and irritating characters and twists that are meant to drive the message home.
As for the classic humour, this movie doesn’t really have the comedic chops to make you laugh much. Despite a strong cast in Ed Helms, Amanda Seyfried and Tracy Morgan, the lead actors aren’t at their best in The Clapper, with the film’s focus on satire and a more subdued, sobering atmosphere really hurting its ability to make you laugh.
So, if you’re looking for a comedy to sit back and relax with, then The Clapper isn’t really the one to go for. It does have a good message, and there are times when its satire is an entertaining addition to the story. However, for the most part, the film, which also strays into a less-than-lovable sphere of romance, isn’t a hugely entertaining watch, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.8 overall.