Webb back on safer ground

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reviews -

five-time Os­car win­ner Kramer vs. Kramer.

Work­ing from a script by lit­tle known writer Tom Flynn – whose only pre­vi­ously penned film was 1993 com­edy Watch It (which not many peo­ple did!) – Webb has crafted an en­dear­ing-but-pre­dictable fam­ily drama.

The high­light is the be­liev­able bond be­tween Evans and Grace. They say to never work with kids, but Evans has as much of a glint in his eye shar­ing scenes with the young­ster as he does when trad­ing quips with Robert Downey Jr.

You want Frank to end up be­ing the one to look af­ter Mary, not least thanks to an over­the-top, mis­guided turn by Ed­in­burgh na­tive Dun­can’s (Alice in Won­der­land) cus­tody ri­val.

It’s al­ways good to see Oc­tavia Spencer, but Webb makes the car­di­nal sin of giv­ing the Os­car win­ner very lit­tle to work with as Frank and Mary’s well-mean­ing neigh­bour Roberta.

The prob­lem-solv­ing abil­i­ties of Grace’s hu­man cal­cu­la­tor are never al­lowed to get too com­pli­cated to travel over our heads – this is no kid-friendly A Beau­ti­ful Mind.

One key de­ci­sion by Frank feels too forced – and leads to an awk­ward mo­ment that evokes me­mories of 1987 com­edy Baby Boom in its ma­nip­u­la­tive at­tempt to test our tear ducts.

But even when Webb and Flynn overdo the sugar-coat­ing, their lov­able lead­ing duo are there to save the day – and en­sure Webb’s cal­cu­lated risk of re­turn­ing to the spot­light just about pays off.

Ad­ding up to great­ness Evans and Grace bond in Gifted

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