It's no surprise that Flypaper is receiving a bare-bones release. The real question is: How does a movie as weak as Flypaper get made? Who read this script and said, "I have to make this movie"?
Even more mysterious: How does a movie like this attract a cast like this? Not that it has Tom Cruise or Sandra Bullock -- but a film that includes Patrick Dempsey, Ashley Judd, Jeffrey Tambor, Mekhi Phifer and Tim Blake Nelson (among others) should have something going for it.
Bu this film, written by the same team that wrote The Hangover and The Change-Up and directed by Rob Minkoff (The Haunted Mansion), is one of those non-starters -- the kind of movie which, after 15 minutes, makes you want to bolt from the theater. It strains, it struggles -- but it fails to amuse.
The set-up seems sure-fire: Just as a fussy brainiac (Dempsey) finishes a rather precious bank transaction (involving different amounts of change) with a cute teller (Judd), two separate groups of bank robbers walk in to the bank at closing time and announce they're robbing the place. After a brief gun battle to declare supremacy, the different gangs call a truce and decide to rob different parts of the bank. The high-tech trio (led by Phifer) will go for the vault, while the dimwit duo (Nelson and Pruitt Taylor Vince) will tackle the ATMs.
And then -- well, suffice to say that there's something larger afoot here. But that something larger is so contrived and ludicrous that it's neither funny nor interesting. In particular, it's not funny -- and that's the real crime of Flypaper.
Find more reviews, interviews and commentary on my website.
Follow Marshall Fine on Twitter: www.twitter.com/hollywoodnfine