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The Upside

In this remake of the French film Intouchables (2012), Phil (Bryan Cranston) is a millionaire who was in an accident that left him a quadriplegic. During his search for a caretaker, Dell (Kevin Hart) barges into an interview being overseen by Phil’s business manager Yvonne (Nicole Kidman); he really doesn’t want the job, he just needs a signature to prove he is looking for work. Phil decides to hire Dell, which is the beginning of their friendship. This is based on the true story of a friendship of two very different men with different backgrounds. The film is okay; the depth of the story got a bit lost for me as the movie devolved into a stereotypical buddy comedy. While I am not a huge fan of Kevin Hart, I thought that he and Cranston shared very good chemistry, and Hart was likable and sometimes funny. Cranston’s performance, as always is very solid. Some parts of the film are really moving, and the humor sometimes works and sometimes does not (the scene with Hart and the catheter was excruciating for me – as someone who has changed his share of catheters, it made no sense to me). I give the film a thumbs up, mostly because the two performances help carry it. However, in my opinion, the original is much better and not quite as long. If you want to see The Upside, waiting for it to stream is fine.

About Gary Burkholder

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