In 2012. The Weinstein Company announced that Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Unaccompanied Minors) was slated to write and direct an untitled biopic. A year later, Paul dropped out, because he was collaborating with Melissa McCarthy & Sandra Bullock in “The Heat.” Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty) was a potential replacement for Paul, but had to resign due to scheduling conflicts. In 2014, Kevin Hart officially signed on to play the lead role. Two Years Later, Bryan Cranston also signed on to play the second lead role after Colin Firth dropped out. Another Year Later, the film’s confirmed title is “The Upside.”
The movie was slated for a 2018 release date, until rumors surrounding Harvey Weinstein’s rap sheet as a rapist came true from numerous actresses. STX Entertainment & The Weinstein Company was rebranded as “Lantern Entertainment” no longer associated with a sick bastard. The two companies eventually released The Upside in January 2019 with Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless, Divergent) directing the picture. January is the month when movies (not every single one) released are bonafide stinkers/disappointments.
The Upside is currently out in theaters. It earned mixed reviews from critics. Despite mixed reception, the film is making money at the box office.
Today’s review contains pivotal SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen this film, read at your own risk.
Positive & Negative Elements
Positive: Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston & Nicole Kidman all did a good job for their respective performances.
Fun Fact: Before Kevin was handpicked to play Dell, notable stars including Chris Rock, Idris Elba, Chris Tucker & Jamie Foxx were considered to play the lead role.
Chemistry between Kevin & Bryan’s characters, Dell & Phillip felt organic and serves as the main highlight.
Funny Moments managed to give a couple of laughs including a scene with Dell reluctantly putting a catheter to let Phillip pee, Dell mistakenly calling Phillip’s assistant “boo,” Philip letting Dell destroying his expensive furniture etc.
Character Development involving Dell. As the film progresses, he becomes interested in Phillip’s art, opera & other hobbies.
Dell & Phillip’s personal lives were interesting. Dell needs to make some money in order to support his son & his estranged ex-wife. Phillip has a personal past about how he became paralyzed & he was married.
After Aretha Franklin’s death, the film unintentionally became heartwarming when Dell sings Aretha’s “You Better Think.” To put the icing on the cake, Aretha sings some Opera song near the end of the film while Dell & Phillip paraglide.
Harvey “Jeffery Dahmer” Weinstein, who was producing the film prior The Weinstein Company’s bankruptcy & eventually rebranded as Lantern Entertainment, was never credited as an executive producer.
Negative: Neil Burger did an underwhelming job for directing the film.
Shaky Cam is present in certain scenes. Who the heck’s behind the camera, Speedy Gonzales on Monster Energy?
When I saw a preview for The Upside, The Tone was supposed to be a lighthearted feelgood movie. Upon watching the whole thing, I realize that the film’s tone gets sappy as it starts to lose its identity as a comedy failing to incorporate dramatic elements. My God! This is the marketing of Fluke all over again tricking the audience that Fluke was gonna be a lighthearted family film, but everybody realizes that they’re watching a painfully excruciating sad film!
A “we are through” cliche occurred when Philip fires Dell. Don’t worry, they get back together like most buddy cop movies. If you’ve seen the trailer with Dell & Philip paragliding, they get back together.
Towards the end of the film, Phillip has a pencil-thin mustache. One shot later, he has a bushy mustache. Editing 101, be sure to check your scenes to fit in chronological order before you implement certain footage into The Final Cut.
The End Credits reveals that The Upside is a remake of a French film called, “The Intouchables.” At first, I thought the real life versions of Dell & Phillip were from New York but it turns out to be lie due to the fact their “counterparts” are actually from Paris & Dell’s real name is “Driss.” This is a Balto level of misleading! Can you imagine if a biopic film of George Washington took place in modern day Tokyo? That would be extremely inaccurate! I have no choice but to Double Down STX Entertainment & Lantern Entertainment for wasting my money & lied to me that this took place in America!
The film’s runtime is over two hours long. It’s not an epic comedy like “Spaceballs.”
The Final Verdict: C, FOR COLLAPSE!
The Upside is a fraudulent “true story” not worth seeing. It’s not good or bad, just a disappointment. If you want to see movie worth spending, If you’re fan of Marvel, I strongly recommend Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. If you’re a fan of DC Comics, go out and see Aquaman. Either one’s worth the price of admission.