The Love Punch (2014)

The Love Punch (2014)

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No matter the disguise, no matter where they hid, the public still knew they'd taken this film for the money.
No matter the disguise, no matter where they hid, the public still knew they’d taken this film for the money.

Twitter Plot Summary: After his pension fund is wiped out, Brosnan and ex-wife Thompson plot to steal an expensive diamond.

Five Point Summary:

1. The French have taken all the money!
2. Let’s steal a diamond, why not?
3. Allergy to cats, allergy to flowers.
4. Cliffhanger. Literally.
5. Yawn.

The thought of Pierce Brosnan teaming up with Emma Thompson for a grey pound pleasing adventure romp should inspire positive thoughts. Both of them are entertaining to watch (although the less said about Brosnan’s singing the better) and have a certain pedigree that makes them stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, based on The Love Punch they could probably do with picking out some better projects in future.

The one major problem is the script. It’s too fluffy and inconsequential to be entertaining, a poor attempt at the caper/heist genre. Villain Vincent (Lafitte) appears to have been taken from the stock “sneering French businessman” catalogue and is a nasty sort just because the script demands he be so. If he was any more two dimensional he’d slip between the cracks in the pavement. There’s his obligatory good looking fiancee, his enormous amount of wealth and the fact he bought the company Brosnan’s Richard worked for and wiped out his pension fund. Naturally the best plan of attack is to try stealing a very expensive diamond from Vincent in order to pay for his retirement. With Thompson’s Kate in tow, they set off for France and the sub-par Ocean’s Eleven style plot commences.

At least the core quartet look like they’re enjoying themselves. Brosnan and Thompson have good chemistry together and they are on the whole a believable divorced couple. The same can be said about Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie as their long time friends who come along for the ride, although they struggle to make the most of some bad material. Spall’s Jerry has the best of it, his previous military exploits and contacts coming as a surprise to everyone, including his wife. Beyond this, you take one look at the narrative and wonder if anybody realised that it lacked depth, purpose and value. Capers tend to be vary basic affairs, admittedly, but this one seems incapable of maintaining even a level of internal logic.

The film may be terrible, but at least they got paid to do it.
The film may be terrible, but at least they got paid to do it.

On top of the slightly ludicrous caper, there are also valueless moments where Richard and Kate get their son to do some illegal hacking for them via webcam – complete with bad taste gags featuring their son’s slobbish roommate. Apparently if you’re sharing a flat you never close the bathroom door, nor do you think it slightly inappropriate to start touching yourself in a shared area. A final subplot featuring Kate partaking in some internet dating with another Frenchman completely distracts from the core storyline and just serves as a needless sideline where more depth could have been added to the caper angle. And, in fairness, to absolutely every other aspect of the production if we’re going down that avenue.

A couple of amusing jokes go some way to preventing this from being an absolute disaster, and the banter between Brosnan and Thompson does go some way to making this palatable, but there’s ultimately not enough to recommend it to anyone. A shame, really, as a decent caper with Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson would be worth seeing.

Score: 2/5

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