The Love Punch (aka Duo d'escrocs) review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
The idea of a romantic comedy with Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson sounded excellent to me as I know Thompson has previous experience with excellent romances such as Love Actually and Last Chance Harvey. Both of those films were great on their own but Thompson elevated the material into something more. The Love Punch never puts her talents to use and oddly enough its sardonic Brosnan that comes out on top in this pathetically average picture.
The Love Punch follows divorced couple Kate (Thompson) and Richard (Brosnan), two people who thought that their lives had moved off in separate directions after their divorce but find themselves brought back into each others orbits when their joint retirement fund is stolen by a disreputable group and they find themselves trying to figure out how to get it back with the help of a few friends. However this exercise in major crime leads to some unexpected feelings returning to add mayhem to their plan.
While the premise provides a few comedic moments akin to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels as these bumbling brits try their best to do things they have never even contemplated before the whole film is a desperate creation, the jokes are stale (especially one near the end about sandwiches ironically enough) and there is rarely a moment that hasn’t been painfully played out for all the sap it has to offer. Although Thompson and Brosnan are great performers there is little real acting required due to a script that lacks the emotional depth to even pull off character.
Sure the music is enjoyable and the supporting cast provide a sense of humour that the leads seem to lack in the films early moments (Timothy Spall makes the beginning almost enjoyable) but the film falls flat on its face when the preposterous heist plot comes into effect and what should be a fun little caper feels overburdened by poorly strung together romantic moments that feel so forced you can’t quite buy why they got married in the first place, let alone why the decided to rekindle whatever it is they have.