This week's Tucson Film Roundup includes a review of the latest Mel Gibson effort, the arrival of a Vince Vaughn comedy, and an insane looking, new streaming film at The Loft.
Opening this week...
Mel Gibson plays the title character in Fatman, that particular fatman being none other than Santa Claus. If your schmaltz alarm just went off, don't worry, this isn't one of those happy time, Tim Allen vehicles where Santa is a comic figure who falls down a lot.
Nope, this is Christmas grizzly Gibson style. Writer-directors Eshom and Ian Nelms come up with a fun premise: a young nasty kid (Chance Hurstfield) hires a hitman (Walton Goggins) to take out Santa aka Chris. Sounds like the makings of a solid dark comedy, right?
Well, not so fast. The Eshom brothers employ a grainy look on a low budget and very dry humor that feels awkward. The tone dial is way off in this movie, and a good performance by Gibson, along with a great premise, get squandered.
Gibson tries his best to have the whole thing make sense, but any attempt at a gag falls woefully flat, and Goggins seems like he's in the wrong movie. The action sequences are okay, but not good enough to balance out the shortfalls. This movie should be completely nuts, but it winds up being totally dull.
The end result is better than those Tim Allen Santa movies, but not much better.
Fatman Now Playing at Roadhouse Cinemas and Harkins
ALSO OPENING AT ROADHOUSE CINEMAS and HARKINS:
FREAKY (This film was sitting at a very positive 86% on Rottentomatoes at press time)
NOW STREAMING AT LOFT CINEMA:
ACTION U.S.A. (Watch out...uncensored trailer...don't play at work. This movie looks crazy).