No sub­ver­sion in this ver­sion

The Hart-Cranston film is a pass­ably ad­e­quate re­make of a much bet­ter 2011 French film Less Up­side with We­in­stein

StarMetro Calgary - - DAILY LIFE - Bruce De­Mara Gary Thomp­son

There is an up­side to this re­make of the 2011 French film, The In­touch­ables: It’s not as ter­ri­ble as one might ex­pect.

Movies re­made from other movies are al­most al­ways pretty aw­ful and U.S. film­mak­ers are par­tic­u­larly lousy at re­mak­ing them. This one is pass­ably OK, sort of some­where on the spec­trum be­tween the ex­pe­ri­ence of True Grit, where the 2010 se­quel was leaps and bounds bet­ter than the 1969 John Wayne orig­i­nal, and Hair­spray, whose 1988 orig­i­nal was way, way, way bet­ter than the in­ex­e­crably hor­rid 2007 re­make.

The open­ing seg­ment fea­tur­ing a mad­cap car chase shows one just what to ex­pect. It’s sorta fun but not nearly as darkly comic and sub­ver­sive as the orig­i­nal. This time out, we have Bryan Bryan Cranston, left, and Kevin Hart in The Up­side, which proves that just be­cause a movie was good, it doesn’t mean the re­make will be too. DAVID LEE/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Cranston play­ing Phillip Lacasse, a wealthy New Yorker ren­dered quad­ri­plegic in a paraglid­ing ac­ci­dent, who de­cides to hire a very un­qual­i­fied Black man named Dell Scott (Kevin Hart) as his “life aux­il­iary.” Lacasse, worn down by sor­row and rage, re­ally doesn’t want an­other chirpy, life-af­firm­ing care­giver. He re­ally just wants to check out per­ma­nently.

The ever-re­li­able Cranston de­liv­ers a well-mod­u­lated per­for­mance that works so well be­cause he doesn’t seek to ex­ploit our sym­pa­thies. Hart, whose comic stylings tend to­ward the loud and ob­nox­ious, wisely chooses to dial things down — way down. MOVIES In one of last year’s big­gest en­ter­tain­ment sto­ries, Kevin Hart lost his much-cov­eted gig host­ing the Os­cars after his ho­mo­pho­bic tweets resur­faced.

But not all ca­reer wounds are self-in­flicted.

Hart had noth­ing to do with the prob­lem in­volv­ing his new movie The Up­side — in fact, he’s re­ported to have given one of his best per­for­mances in this re­make of the 2011 French hit The In­touch­ables.

Va­ri­ety, in its mid­dling re­view of the film, says he gives “a rang­ier per­for­mance that adds sin­cer­ity and heart to his man­i­cally funny per­sona.”

It was filmed in Philadel­phia nearly two years ago and fea­tures Hart as a street­wise guy hired as a care­giver to a wealthy man with a dis­abil­ity (Bryan Cranston).

The script-to-screen jour­ney of The Up­side, though, turned out to have a ma­jor down­side: it was pro­duced by the We­in­stein Co. Hart and Cranston in The Up­side, whose wider re­lease was de­layed by about a year.

And when Har­vey We­in­stein was hit with mul­ti­ple al­le­ga­tions of ha­rass­ment, and ul­ti­mately a charge of sex­ual as­sault, the com­pany slipped into the limbo of bank­ruptcy, ty­ing up a slate of movies.

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