Rocky ride for Apa­tow’s latest

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket - Train­wreck (15) ●●●

For all of his pro­duc­ing and writ­ing con­tri­bu­tions, Train­wreck marks only the fifth big screen di­rec­to­rial ef­fort from Judd Apa­tow – and the first since 2012’s un­even This is 40.

Af­ter the rel­a­tive easy­go­ing comedic stylings of Knocked Up and The 40 Year-Old Vir­gin, Apa­tow’s last cou­ple of flicks have taken a more se­ri­ous tone, re­sult­ing in fewer laughs and less mem­o­rable, re­watch­able, fare.

Train­wreck is more in keep­ing with his ear­lier ef­forts and sees the di­rec­tor show­case ris­ing com­edy star Amy Schumer, who also wrote the script.

The New Yorker makes her movie de­but – un­less you count her role as “Woman num­ber 1” in Seek­ing a Friend for the End of the World – as com­mit­ment-pho­bic ca­reer woman Amy, who is forced to re-eval­u­ate her be­liefs when she strikes up a bud­ding re­la­tion­ship with Bill Hader’s sports doc­tor Aaron.

Roar­ing down the tracks with of­ten hi­lar­i­ous re­sults, Train­wreck’s first hour is a riot, favour­ing dar­ing hu­mour and crude jokes syn­ony­mous with Apa­tow.

The open­ing scene sees a young Amy and sis­ter Kim’s dolls used as a metaphor for their dad’s adul­tery and mem­o­rable cameos come from US bas­ket­ball icon LeBron James and WWE su­per­star John Cena (Steven), the lat­ter as a re­luc­tant dirty-talker who wrestling fans are un­likely to look at in the same way again.

Add in some warm chem­istry be­tween Schumer and Hader that evokes mem­o­ries of Woody Allen at his best and we’re on course for Apa­tow’s ca­reer zenith.

Un­for­tu­nately, though, the di­rec­tor and Schumer fail to main­tain the courage of their con­vic­tions dur­ing the sec­ond half, turn­ing pro­ceed­ings into more pre­dictable, tra­di­tional, rom-com fare.

Schumer isn’t al­ways like­able on-screen ei­ther. She grates a lot less than fel­low “com­edy it girl” Rebel Wil­son, but her fear of com­mit­ment and at times cal­lous treat­ment of Aaron and oth­ers be­come a lit­tle tire­some.

I’m also not sure why Apa­tow felt the need to sad­dle Amy with a lazy voiceover that’s as point­less as it is barely used.

Thank­fully, Schumer’s co-star makes up for her short­com­ings. In a ca­reer full of at­ten­tion­grab­bing sup­port­ing roles, Train­wreck marks a rare foray into lead­ing man ter­ri­tory for Hader – and he knocks it out of the park with an out­stand­ing turn.

Apa­tow should’ve been more ruth­less in the edit­ing suite and shaved off at least 20 min­utes from the two-hour run­ning time.

But the sec­ond half isn’t all bad: Amy de­liv­ers the best “worst eu­logy ever”, soon-to-be Flash Ezra Miller’s (Don­ald) bed­room an­tics are al­most as funny as Cena’s and a fun fi­nale fea­tures im­pres­sive phys­i­cal com­edy from Schumer that Hader re­acts to bril­liantly.

Never dull and of­ten top notch, Train­wreck is a ri­otous ride that runs out of steam be­fore reach­ing its fi­nal des­ti­na­tion.

Hav­ing a laugh Schumer and Hader share a joke

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