Shotgun Wedding

Shotgun Wedding ★★½

Watched in the cinema (9th visit in 2023)

Many people dream of getting married on a tropical island, with dream beaches, dream waters, dream skies and dream vegetation. But as it is with dreams, some are better left as dreams. This is where the big guns come into play. In "Shotgun Wedding", a gang of pirates mixes up the wedding party. That's not exactly what you have in mind as a potential risk when planning your own wedding. It can't get much worse than this.

But the sensitivities of the people involved are of course not the point of such a film. First and foremost, you are to be entertained. Screenwriter Mark Hammer clearly puts the emphasis on humour. This, in turn, primarily means that people are constantly clashing in one way or another. After all, many of those in "Shotgun Wedding" are mercilessly overdrawn. There is no nuance or ambivalence to be found in the crudely kept characters. The important characters each have a prominent character trait that must last until the end. The unimportant characters don't even have that. There are quite a few within the wedding party where you have no idea who they are supposed to be. In the case of Tom's father Larry (Steve Coulter), you at least get a kick out of him being so featureless. In the case of the others, just nobody cared.

To some extent, this is compensated for by the playful ensemble. Jennifer Coolidge, for example, certainly has fun playing the rather chavvy mother of the groom, who might be better off keeping her mouth shut at some points. Cheech Marin has lost none of his comedic talent even in his mid-70s. Josh Duhamel makes less of an impression, showing great physical commitment but remaining too boring as a character. Jennifer Lopez is a little more incisive, but also has the more grateful role in "Shotgun Wedding". The combination of sprawling wedding dress and guns is funny on its own, you don't really need to do much.

The action scenes themselves are decent. It takes quite a while before things really get going. But when it does, you get something. So together with the defiantly dreamlike setting, there is a lot to see that could make the film worthwhile. But "Shotgun Wedding" is not more than average. For that, more should have been invested. More in the characters. More in the jokes, which are often too routine. But also more in the story, which switches into autopilot mode after a while. The likelihood of remembering what happened on the island in a few years is pretty slim. But it is somehow enough to keep you occupied for around 100 minutes.

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