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London (R)

Release Date: February 10th, 2006 (Angelika Film Center and AMC Empire 25) by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
The Cast: Chris Evans, Jessica Biel, Jason Statham, Isla Fisher, Joy Bryant, Kelli Garner, Dane Cook.
Directed by Hunter Richards.

BASIC PREMISE: Syd (Evans) tries to win back his ex-girlfriend London (Biel) by crashing her going-away party with his new friend Bateman (Statham).

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: London boast terrific performances, but suffers from a very weak, meandering plot. The movie begins in the second act as Syd angrily kicks and throws furniture all over his apartment following his break-up with his girlfriend, London. At a bar, he meets Bateman who willingly follows him and Mallory (Brant) to Londonís upscale apartment to crash her party and confront her. However, instead, he ends up in her large bathroom snorting cocaine and acting crazy while Mallory and Bateman try to calm him down. Bateman delivers the funniest lines thanks to Jason Stathamís surprisingly great comic timing. For those who have seen him in Snatch and The Transporter , he does have a few action scenes in the third act and, on top of that, itís nice to see him with hair on his head. At one point, Maya (Garner) enters the bathroom tries to be wise with a silly example, but just makes a fool out of herself. Then, when she leaves the bathroom, London asks her if she did any drugs and, of course, she denies it. In a few flashbacks, Syd and London share romantic moments together and end up arguing. Too much of the second act takes place in the bathroom as Syd and Bateman talk, yell, snort cocaine, talk more, yell more, and snort more cocaine. Naturally, a few secrets from Sydís past come out during all of his banter, but even then, there arenít enough reasons to care about him or his pathetic love life. His deeply flawed character never feels original, refreshing, or memorable in any way. Most of the time, he comes across as unlikable, annoying, and selfish. You never feel like he deserves to have London in the first placeófirst he needs to go to a rehab center or at least take a vacation to cool off. As for London, she does look beautiful and, somehow, has plenty of money. However, she has too few scenes to be able to understand what Syd sees in her beyond a superficial level. A first act which shows how they met would have been much more interesting than just watching Syd constantly complain and yell while isolated in her bathroom.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Some men never grow up. Syd must learn how to take control of his life and move on like a grown man. Love isnít easy, but, as the saying goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea. While high on cocaine, Syd and Bateman openly discuss many random aspects of life from S & M to religion. By the third act, Syd doesnít seem like he has really learned or changed very much. Hopefully, he will learn from his experience with his first love to improve his future relationships with women, but itís difficult to tell if he really will.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Slim, meandering plot and unlikable, undeveloped characters.


IN A NUTSHELL: Jason Statham shines with great comic timing, but the plot feels unoriginal and uninvolving with poor character development.


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