The state of comedic cinema in Hollywood at present often teeters between hit and miss. Some would even argue that over the past few years in particular, Hollywood comedies have often been more miss than hit. If this is true, it’s not due to a lack of talented and hilarious comedic actors – there’s literally an army of men and women out there who can make people collapse into fits of laughter. So what then is the reason for the small numbers of comedies that truly deliver?
While that question isn’t an easy one to answer, one possible argument could be that the buddy comedy needs to be revamped. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn proved that the genre was alive and well with 2005’s Wedding Crashers and Ed Helms is widely known for his work on one of the most successful buddy comedy franchises ever with The Hangover. So, if the genre has been in a steady state of decline, why hasn’t anyone put Wilson and Helms together in something?
As it turns out, Warner Bros. has done precisely that. Wilson and Helms star together in the upcoming Bastards - the trailer for which has just arrived courtesy of the official Warner Bros. YouTube channel. You can check out the trailer for yourself above and then decide whether or not Wilson and Helms have the right chemistry to lure significant numbers into theaters this January when the film is released.
In terms of plot, Bastards isn’t offering all that much – two brothers are told by their mother that everything they've ever known about their errant father was lie. Faced with this exposed truth, the brothers decide to embark on a road trip to find their biological father, but of course things don’t go quite to plan. Bastards is the directorial debut of Lawrence Sher, who has made a name for himself over the years as a cinematographer on a wide variety of buddy comedies, including I Love You, Man, Due Date and surprisingly enough – all three Hangover films. Aside from Wilson and Helms, the film will also star Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (Zootopia), Glenn Close (Guardians of the Galaxy), Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) and Katie Aselton (The League).
As far as this being the film to kick start a new era of buddy comedies, well that’s a dubious proposition at best. Of course, Bastards has never claimed that it was setting out to redefine the Hollywood comedy, so there’s really no point raising that expectation in the first place. What’s on display in the trailer doesn’t look particularly hilarious, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – too often comedies rely on their best material to get audiences into cinemas and fail to impress overall as a result. Wilson and Helms look comfortable together here, so there’s always the hope that they’ll play well off one another on screen.
Fans of comedy are always glad to see another contender for big laughs arrive and even if Bastards doesn’t end up completely delivering in this respect, there’s a possibility that Wilson and Helms will click with audiences, leaving the door open for more buddy efforts in the future.
Bastards arrives in U.S. theaters on January 27, 2017
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures