Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg
Director: Shawn Levy
Running Time: 88 mins
Date Night is an American film about a married couple who, after a case of mistaken identity at a posh restaurant, find themselves right in the middle of a dangerous crime battle in New York City.
This film may be stupid, and it may be hugely predictable, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun! Filled with laugh-a-minute gags, an all-star cast that really adds to the overall enjoyment, and such surreal idiocy that you can rarely ever stop laughing.
The whole thing is definitely one of the most generic action-comedies I’ve ever seen, and at pretty much every step of the way, you can see exactly what’s coming up, so it’s not the story that really ever gets you going, but the mad action and brilliant comedy make it a brilliant watch.
In terms of the comedy, it works in two great ways. First, there’s the married couples extremely dull suburban lifestyles, and all the jokes that typically accompany that storyline, and the shock as they’re thrown into this insane thrill-ride of a night; with them trying to cope in the only ways they know how, albeit they’re completely ill-fitted for the situation.
There are even some parallels you can draw between this and American Beauty. Although, Beauty’s a lot deeper and more thoughtful in terms of describing the dullness of the lives of the middle classes, you can see that story unfold very clearly in this film, and even though it spirals into a stupid action ride, it’s surprisingly interesting to watch.
Then, the action. The budget for this film was $55m, so it’s pretty obvious how insane they were going to go with the special effects and the explosions, and you see exactly that in the film. Despite the story’s predictability, the action keeps your eyes glued to the screen, and the comedy interwoven in those crash-bang-shoot sequences make it all the more fun to watch.
The cast is also pretty impressive. Steve Carell playing a cross between his characters in Get Smart and Crazy, Stupid, Love., Tina Fey being as hilarious as ever, and strangely, Ray Liotta pops up to play Henry Hill in 2010, which is a fun twist on the whole plot.
Overall, this gets an 8.0, because despite being a little bit too predictable and formulaic, it’s a good bit of silly fun that keeps you laughing from start to finish.