Special Correspondents Reviews
IT must have sounded a good idea: 2 guys from a radio station get sent to cover a war in Ecuador but call in their reports from a room opposite the station. Then they have to get there to be set free... that was probably the last time it was actually funny.
Objectively, The characters are not feeble. In fact both main characters are shown to grow in a positive way throughout the film. It's a great story told brilliantly. I found Gervais' unique take on the media an interesting idea throughout the first part of the film.
Subjectively, I am a long time fan of Gervais' work, and I was glad to see a lot of observations from the podcast days and from his standup work.
methinks. Next time, do it right.
A radio journalist (Bana) and his technician (Gervais) fake their own kidnapping during a rebel uprising in Ecuador and try to hide out in New York instead. Also appearing: Vera Farmiga, Kelly Macdonald, Kevin Pollak, America Ferrera, Raúl Castillo, Benjamin Bratt et al.
Like most of Gervais's movies, it's not as sharp and funny as his famous for based on his other works (TV series, standup, podcasts etc). Sadly, it's also nearly not as mainstream friendly as most of his movies which have at least some memorable LOL moments.
It's based on a decent idea and the screenplay is competent, but the humor is rather dry and intellectual, making one go I see what they did here" rather than really enjoying the show.
The satirical pokes about the authenticity of modern media business and the worthiness of the stars it creates gives the story at least some extra depth, even if you won't remember it the next morning.
Dialogue and acting are competent, too, but we spend most of the time in the company of two men with no palpable chemistry - just doing their work and being professional about it.
Always solid Vera Farmiga gives a more juicier performance as a technician's villainous wife but she can't conquer the overall dryness of it all, either.
The movie also looks cheap, which is not a problem in itself because the small budget sets its limits. But I have to say it's overall one of the less exciting Gervais projects I've seen. Sorry.
At least it doesn't go on for too long, although at 101 minutes it's not exactly short either. And yes, disappointing Gervais is still better than no Gervais at all.
IMDb says it's a remake of 2009's French comedy "Envoyés très spéciaux". Both have mediocre user rating but the newer version has a bit higher score (5.8 vs 5.3 out of 10).
VERDICT: "In The Zone" - [Mixed Reaction] These kinds of movies are usually movies that had some good things, but some bad things kept it from being amazing. This rating says buy an ex-rental or a cheap price of the DVD to own. If you consider cinema, ask for people's opinion on the film. (Films that are rated 2.5 or 3 stars)
It's bad, trust me, avoid it.