Friday, May 3, 2024

Role Play (2024)

Streaming Service: Amazon Prime
Movie Name/Year: Role Play (2024)
Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance
Length: 1h 40min
Rating: R
Director: Thomas Vincent
Writer: Seth W. Owen
Actors:Kaley Cuoco, David Oyelowo, Bill Nighy, Connie Nielsen, Rudi Dharmalingam, Lucia Aliu, Regan Bryan-Gudgeon, Simon Delaney, Sonita Henry, Jade-Eleena Dregorius, Julia Schunevitsch, Stephanie Levi-John, Steffen Jung, Betty Kaplan, Dong Hyun Yoon, Matthias Schmidt, Angus McGruther, Dominic Holmes
IMDb Blurb: Emma has a wonderful husband and two kids in the suburbs of New Jersey. She also has a secret life as an assassin for hire, a secret that her husband Dave discovers when the couple decide to spice up their marriage with a little role play.
Selina’s Point of View:
I didn’t have too much stock in Role Play going into it. It looked like a fun little action/comedy, but I figured it would be basic. The trailer looked interesting, if a bit predictable.
Watching that same trailer now, I get a much different feel for it.
From the music to the way the scenes are spliced together, the trailer winds up taking on a whole different vibe when you know the context. It’s one of those things where it made me expect something I didn’t get, but it was done in such a way that the trailer doesn’t feel like a lie. It’s like the video representation of the laurel/yanny audio. Watching the trailer with the comedy genre in mind paints a much different picture than when you watch it with the action genre at the forefront.
I believe the reason for the versatility in the coming attractions is because of a certain elegance in the film that they were trying to represent.
There are a lot of films that travel down that assassin meets civilian romantic route in movies. I’ve seen about 50 of them. None of them do what the director, Thomas Vincent (Reacher, Possessions, Bodyguard), did in this one. The way he used the tone of each genre to represent the existence of each character was interesting. Some of the other films have done that, but usually through the basic soundtrack or lighting. A more subtle alteration. In Role Play the entire genre changes.
When David Oyelowo (The After, Selma, Silo) is on screen, the movie leans more comedy. Meanwhile, if the only main character on screen is Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory, The Wedding Ringer, 8 Simple Rules), it leans toward a darker action genre. Vincent used the genres to represent the light that Oyelowo’s character brought into the life of Cuoco’s character, and I think it was very well done. Although it was less subtle, there was an elegance to it that I believe needs to be appreciated.
At times, it did make the tonal consistency of the movie feel a bit off.
I’d like to see what Vincent can do with that kind of strategy having learned what he did from making Role Play.
I firmly believe that Role Play was a solid film. I wasn’t sucked in immediately, but I did wind up enjoying it by the end. It’s a cute little comedic action flick that doesn’t deserve all the negativity it’s gotten.
 Cat’s Point of View:
When I was looking through trailers and putting together my Top 20 list for January, I remember that Role Play came very close to making my final cut. Selina did have this movie as her #10. It was definitely on our radar then.
My initial impression from the teaser was that this was a more comedic attempt at a gender-twist version of True Lies (1994). Considering that 2023 launched a reboot of that '90s IP in the form of a TV series on CBS/Paramount+, Role Play didn't feel like the freshest attention-grabbing idea at the time. The movie did look cute and potentially funny, if the trailer was to be believed, though.
I can't say that Role Play delivered exactly the vibe that the trailer promised, but it did fill in the blanks regarding how this particular peculiar situation came to be in a plausible fashion. I didn't have to try hard to suspend disbelief.
Kaley Cuoco and David Oyelowo didn't have the sort of chemistry that people normally think of for on-screen couples. There weren't incindiary moments that would make an audience member feel like a voyeur – this just wasn't that sort of movie. They did, however, accurately portray a couple that has been together for a very long time and has, perhaps, gotten into a bit of a rut. There is deep love and affection but the bedroom isn't always a fireworks show. Anyone expecting otherwise is really either hoping for an entirely different sort of film or just is having a hard time of “reading the room.”
I enjoyed their dynamic as a couple, and as parents. I was down for forgiving any hiccups in the story where that was concerned.
The shift between the comedic elements and the more serious action was generally handled well. This story wasn't really centered on down and dirty combat scene action. It was woven in as necessary to support the story of Cuoco's character's “job” and her fight to extract herself from its grasp. Nothing felt fake or hokey. Everything was, again, completely plausible in the context of the story – for the most part.
I thought that Bill Nighy (The Limehouse Golem, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, The First Omen) and Connie Nielsen (The Following, Sea Fever, Wonder Woman 1984) were excellent choices for their roles. I can't quite put my thumb on it, but Nighy always brings me joy with his roles Рeven the serious ones. There's just something about his delivery that has me excited to see him on the screen each time. He was probably one of my bigger draws to Role Play aside from the other primary cast and story.
While Role Play might not have been the most original thing out there, the story was executed well and it was an enjoyable rom-com with a side of action and suspense. I had a legitimate knot in my stomach at a few points. That says something for even a predictable plotline.
If these are appealing genres for you and you're in the mood for the safety of a story where you can see what's coming early on, I'd say definitely give Role Play a shot. 
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 27%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 43%
Metascore – 38%
Metacritic User Score – 4.6/10
IMDB Score – 5.5/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5
Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment