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Yesterday we were thrilled to get our first look at the trailer for Get Him To The Greek, the comedy spinoff from Forgetting Sarah Marshall that has Russell Brand once again playing the eccentric rock star Aldous Snow, with Jonah Hill as the young record company exec charged with taking care of him. The trailer looked hilarious and insane, and the movie immediately made it to the top of our most-anticipated summer movies.
But as it turns out, the real lucky bastards were the ones who got to see the movie in its entirety. Our spy, who's going by the pen name Liam Wirberly, was at an early screening of Get Him to the Greek, and wrote in with his review. He was disappointed that the movie wasn't quite as genius as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but says the movie has a lot going for it too-- including a performance from Jonah Hill that poises him as this generation's John Candy. Check out what he had to say below.
Get Him to the Greek is kind of like The Hangover meets Almost Famous, which is a great idea in theory, but turns out just not bad in execution. The flick is a spinoff of the surprise 2008 hit Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but it's as much a sequel as Mallrats is to Clerks. Sure there are a few actors, characters, and nods to its previous chapter, but this is its own stand alone flick. Given that the first film was better, I think we all would’ve preferred the spinoff to be a Dracula puppet musical.
In a movie chock full of surprises and featuring the Apatow all stars, one of the biggest surprises of Forgetting Sarah Marshall (other than Jason Segel’s full frontal) was British comic Russell Brand’s performance as the sober sex maniac rocker Aldous Snow. An even bigger surprise is that director Nicholas Stoller took the ball and ran with it, churning out another flick with Aldous front and center.
Greek is the story of music nerd Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) who is sent by his a-hole record exec boss Sergio (P. Diddy) to pick up a washed-up has-been Aldous Snow in London (Paul Rudd was right, he is from London!). Aaron has three days to bring Aldous to The Greek theatre in L.A. for a ten year anniversary reunion concert to revive the label in the downtrodden economy. The problem is Aldous is fresh off an album that bombed like Hiroshima, as well as a break up with fellow pop star Jackie Q (Rose Byrne of Damages), and he's fallen hard off the wagon. It’s up to Aaron to corral the rock star and his manipulating and seductive sex, drugs, and rock & roll lifestyle by any means necessary. I hesitate to call this a road movie, since Aldous & Aaron fly everywhere, but I guess it’s the closest kind of thing you can compare it to. The journey from London to L.A. is ripe with outrageously funny and debauchery-filled pit stops in New York and Las Vegas. There isn’t a drug that isn’t taken or a random drunk slut who isn’t taken advantage of.
As expected, Hill & Brand are in full force with all guns blazing bringing their comedic chops. Jonah takes on a more “adult” role, being a grounded career-minded guy and a live-in girlfriend (Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men). Being the straight man to Russell Brand’s out-there eccentricity kind of lets Jonah Hill be very reminiscent of a young John Candy, a second coming I’ve long since been waiting for ever since Kevin James fell from grace by taking the rip-off Farley route. Russell Brand is Russell Brand; Aldous Snow is nothing more than Captain Jack Sparrow without the reluctant heroism, and though he does have his own demons and a character arc, neither get their due. The real story here is P. Diddy, who fucking owns this movie. He is playing a part he’s born to play, an a-hole record exec. The character just comes naturally. At first he’s just the cliché dick boss, screaming at his employees with as much stereotypical disdain as an 80’s action movie police captain, but when the journey leads everybody to Vegas at the end of the second act he just explodes as a comic dynamo. Never saw that coming, and it borderline blew my mind.
Though sadly the flick does drag a bit-- it ran close to two hours--it’s a rough cut four months from release so they’ll no doubt tighten and sharpen come June. I couldn’t help but be the slightest bit disappointed that it wasn’t really phenomenal. Don’t get me wrong, the flick is friggin’ hilarious with cameos a plenty (even a playful jab at Best Picture Nominee Precious). It’s a fun little R-rated comedy, but coming off Sarah Marshall, which I absolutely LOVE, I was expecting pure absolute genius. It needs to trim the fat for its heart to show. Coming out on June 4 and sandwiched in between Memorial Day juggernauts and The A-Team, Greek may get lost in the shuffle this summer, but I do suggest you check it out.
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