What would you do if your wife freed you from the stale shackles of marriage and allowed you to do whatever you wanted for one whole week? This is the premise for the Farrelly Brothers’ Hall Pass. The concept is mischievous and oozes opportunity for brainless humour to thrive.
The Farrelly Brothers grasped this opportunity and made an immature dick-sandwich that could only be digested by those who are hungry for vulgarity and hit-and-miss humour, but would otherwise be spat out in revulsion by those expecting anything remotely clever.
The film does have its hilarious moments, but any movie that relies on a close-up shot of a dude’s tiny penis to provoke a cheap laugh is struggling like the wind trying to pass Tony Abbott’s ears. Don’t get me wrong, I like close-up shots of male genitalia as much as the next guy, probably more, a lot more, but the Farrelly Brothers’ reliance on shock humour to stimulate laughter somewhat exposes the desperation of this movie.
Hall Pass is the story of Rick (Owen Wilson) and his best friend Fred (Jason Sudeikis), whose wives boldly grant them a “hall pass” in order to invigorate their respective marriages. Wilson and Sudeikis’ chemistry is actually quite surprisingly fluid, particularly highlighted in the well-written dialogue during the hidden camera scene at their flashy friend’s house. The audience, however, is left to wonder if this film would have been enhanced by more screen-time for Stephen Menchant (legendary co-creator of The Office and Extras) and J.B. Smoove, who plays the once-in-a-lifetime character of Leon Black in Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The Farrelly Brothers have made some funny movies in the past such as There’s Something About Mary, The Heartbreak Kid and Me, Myself & Irene, and whilst not horrible, Hall Pass is consistent with the “average shitty movie with some funny moments” standard that has defined many of their previous films such as Stuck On You and Shallow Hal. Hall Pass gets five dicks out of ten, but tiny dicks at that.