FILM REVIEW — J-Lo is hit-and-miss with Shotgun Wedding
Published 12:02 am Friday, January 27, 2023
Amazon Prime Video
Directed by Jason Moore
Starring Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Coolidge, Cheech Marin, Lenny Kravitz, Sonia Braga and D’Arcy Carden
In the press notes for the new Amazon Prime movie, “Shotgun Wedding,” the producers describe the film as “Die Hard” at a destination wedding.
If that logline isn’t enough to pique your interest, consider that the film also stars Jennifer Lopez and features Jennifer Coolidge in a supporting role.
Yeah. I was excited to see the movie as well.
Unfortunately, that excitement is mostly wasted on a film that struggles to find the right mix of its action, comedy and romantic elements. There are certainly some nice moments in “Shotgun Wedding,” but if I’m being honest, it’s a hit-and-miss affair, coasting by mostly on the charm of its female cast members.
The film is set at a destination wedding in the Philippines. The bride and groom (Lopez and Josh Duhamel) are working through some pre-wedding jitters, which is why they are on the other side of the island when machine gun-wielding pirates show up and take all the guests hostage.
Our not-yet-married heroes put aside their squabbles in a crazy plan to save their friends and family from the bad guys.
This leads up to some truly gonzo action sequences that are as improbable as they are enjoyable. There’s something strangely endearing about watching Lopez kick some bad guy booty while wearing combat boots and what’s left of her wedding dress.
It’s not a great action film, by any means, but it’s so audacious that it’s still fun to watch.
And the action works much better than the romance in this film. There’s just not much of a spark between the two leads, and while they are given the opportunity to work on their relationship in between bouts of killing off the pirates, it’s not exactly an ideal setting for genuine character growth.
The comedy, on the other hand, does feature some very nice moments. Lopez is perhaps a little too cartoony for my tastes, but Jennifer Coolidge playing the mother of the groom, continues to be a goofy delight in every role that she touches.
I also enjoyed D’Arcy Carden, playing an odd wedding guest. The performances by these actresses, coupled with the inherently silly storyline left me smiling throughout much of the film’s hour and a half running time.
All of which adds up to make “Shotgun Wedding” into an enjoyable little romantic action comedy. It has some notable performances, looks great, given its tropical island setting, and is so silly that I just rolled my eyes and went along for the ride. It reminds me of other slight-but-fun movies like “Ticket to Paradise” and “The Lost City.”
And no, it’s not as good as I had hoped it would be, but there are worse ways to spend a Friday night at home than by watching the Jennifers (and Josh) running around and looking fabulous during a “Shotgun Wedding.”
Movie reviews by Sean McBride, “The Movie Guy,” are published each week by Orange Newsmedia and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.