Paramount Pictures | Release Date: November 5, 2004
7.3
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 59 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
38
Mixed:
13
Negative:
8
WATCH NOW
Stream On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
2
MarkB.Nov 9, 2004
What's it all about, indeed. There are three, and only three, truthful moments in this aggressively superficial, emotionally fraudulent and (need we say it?) totally unnecessary remake of the groundbreaking 1966 Michael Caine classic: a What's it all about, indeed. There are three, and only three, truthful moments in this aggressively superficial, emotionally fraudulent and (need we say it?) totally unnecessary remake of the groundbreaking 1966 Michael Caine classic: a short but stunning late-picture confrontation between the womanizing title character (Jude Law) and a former best bud (Omar Epps); our hero's genuinely startled observation on first glimpse of Susan Sarandon that "now THERE'S a real woman!!" (and most certainly Sarandon is)...and, most of all, the rhetorical question asked by one of Alfie's pickups: "What do people see in this Eurotrash anyway?" Couldn't have put it better myself. Co-writer/director Charles Shyer doesn't know either, and he's too essentially gutless to make ol' Alf the callous heel with a veneer of surface charm that Caine so memorably immortalized him as, so Shyer reinvents him as a toothless, focus group-friendly inversion: a charming metrosexual with eyes (and other body parts) that rove around a wee bit too much for his or anyone else's own good. Thus, the guys in the audience can envy him about 90% of the way while the women feel sorry for the sweet, unhousebroken puppy dog and fantasize that if they were only there to be the Annette Bening to his Warren Beatty, why, things would be so much different. (Dream on, ladies.) It's bad enough that the talking-to-the-audience bit, which worked in the original because of its theatrical roots, absolutely doesn't fly today, but Shyer (a three-decade warhorse whose previous efforts have included a couple of Father of the Bride remakes with ex-significant other Nancy Meyers) smothers his material with endless freeze-frames, split screens, slow motion and other gimmickry both to evoke the spirit of 1966 and to make himself seem hip and cutting edge. The result is patronizing and embarrassing: sort of like your Uncle Morty delivering a long monologue about the "bling-bling" he bought Aunt Esther for their 50th. Then again, any attempt to modernize director Lewis Gilbert's and writer Bill Naughton's original oncept was doomed from the get-go: Caine's Alfie was bracing and powerful because the protagonist was so inextricably a part of his time: the height of the British Invasion, with the hippie era just around the corner, was the perfect stomping ground for this hedonist. It goes without saying that Jude Law is no Michael Caine, but one factor that both of them share is a very heavy workload and an apparent inability to turn down any project that comes their way. Again, though, the similarity ends here: Law has Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, I Heart Huckabees and this currently occupying multiplexes; Caine may have made a good many unwise career choices (Jaws: The Revenge, anyone?) but I don't think he EVER made three flicks in a row that almost completely sucked. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful