John Krasinski's return to the director's chair, The Hollars, opens in theaters today. Click through for Nick Askam's review of the film.
NICK ASKAM – Review of Sony Pictures Classics' THE HOLLARS.
John Krasinski’s transition into film has not been kind to him. This is his first film that he’s directed since leaving The Office. He also stars in the film alongside Anna Kendrick, Sharlto Copley, Margo Martindale, Richard Jenkins, and Josh Groban. I felt like this film is the one that will get him out of his slump. I thought that it was thoughtful and entertaining. I wouldn’t believe the Metacritic or Rotten Tomato scores that are associated with the film without understanding what the film will be about in the first place. I wouldn’t go in thinking it’s going to be a drama that warms your heart, but it’s a comedy that has a plot that keeps the jokes going. I think that the film balances the comedy and the drama. The problem will arise if you go in thinking it’s entirely drama.
I thought the jokes were solid and the film is well paced. I think the largest problem that other people had was that it wasn’t well paced for a drama. It’s filmed more like a comedy. I thought it was funnier than Trainwreck and it had a way better plot. Sharlto Copley’s delivery was the best in the film. He kept the film moving and did a great job with Krasinski and Groban to balance out the drama. Copley is keeping his streak of being great comedy relief with this and Hardcore Henry. Copley was my favorite part of my film and I think he played a great role for what he was given.
I was reading a lot of reviews that thought that the film was too inconsistent. I thought it did well to show what family tragedy was actually like. It is inconsistent and gives you mixed feelings. To me, it’s a hard balance with trying to create the greatest memories while you still can versus being sad that they might not be with you much longer. I thought the film showed what it’s really like instead of these perfect visions of what will happen in the end. I also didn’t think that it stretches the logic too far because of what the characters are. I definitely don’t think this is the film that you’re meant to tear apart. It’s one of those that you just enjoy everyone’s characters and let the story play out.
My biggest problem with the film is that it’s largely forgettable. I’m not saying that I should remember this film until the end of time, but I wish I didn’t have to Google plot summaries over and over again. The jokes stuck with me, but most of the drama didn’t. I just wish that it had a moment that I could’ve remembered instead of “Why are you a youth pastor? Shouldn’t you want to be an adult pastor?”
Overall, I think Krasinski did a great job directing. I thought he properly rebounded well from the disappointment that was 13 Hours. I think if you go in with the proper expectations then this is a really enjoyable time. I don’t think that the film should be taken too seriously, but I think that it does have deep hooks that locked me into the story. I never felt bored, but the film never challenged me. I wish that the Krasinski challenged these seasoned actors. I did like the delivery of all of the jokes and thought it was well paced.
Score: 7 out of 10