Going into the Empire Cinema to see Girls Trip, I did admittedly have quite low expectations.
I didn’t think that this would be a movie for me, that the humour would be targeted towards females to such a degree that there’s no way that it could appeal to me.
And happily, I was very wrong.
It is a movie with a simple premise, four old friends going on a trip, and it sustains itself through fantastic chemistry and laughs, making it so enjoyable that you feel like you are in the club dancing along with the girls.
Girls Trip stars Regina Hall as Ryan, as a Kim Kardashian type with talent, Queen Latifah as the embattled gossip columnist Sasha, Jada Pinkett Smith as the motherly Lisa and Tiffany Haddish as the outrageous Dina.
Haddish, who is the least famous out of the group, is the star of the movie, and her antics and style of humour play off well against the rest of the group.
They get up to all the things that you’d except from a movie involving nightclubs and drinking, but the movie does surprisingly have a heartfelt message at the core of it, which feels earned as you get to know the characters.
But in saying that, the only problem with the movie is, well, that it’s a movie.
It can’t just be drinking and dancing along to recognisable songs, or then it would be a music video.
Because it has to fill up two hours of content, it at times strikes an uneven tone as they try to balance the humour with feelings. Is this really the movie to comment on today’s obsession with celebrity culture?
This is also not a movie for kids, as it is very R-rated humour.
It’s also probably not suitable if you dislike loud, shouty humour, although many of the funny moments come in the quieter sections.
At one point Ryan notes how she “hasn’t had this much fun in a long time.”
The other new release at Empire Cinema, American Assassin, is wildly different to the energetic Girls Trip.
It follows the story of Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) who begins the film in traumatic fashion by becoming a hipster.
He grows a sweet beard, wears three-quarter pants, gets super ripped and takes up a martial art, becoming That Guy.
Eventually, his hipster skills are noticed by the CIA, who need him to fight another, superior, evil hipster.
Much like Girls Trip, this film is enjoyable if you try not to think too much about it.
While Mitch is rather bland as the lead, the movie thrives whenever it gives screen-time to Michael Keaton’s Stan Hurley. Keaton, who was Batman in the last 80s and early 90s, plays like a retired Bruce Wayne, the ultimate ninja who will pass on his knowledge, but only if one can pass the rigorous tests that he has in place for them.
Although the film is rather straightforward, it is an enjoyable action flick, as the character’s travel from one location to the next to try and prevent the Big Evil Thing from happening. Besides the main two leads, the characters are fairly bland, but the action scenes are enjoyable and coherent enough so that you may give it a pass on that.
One unusual thing that I did notice is that they made sure the characters wear their injuries through the film.
In a number of action flicks, characters are impervious to pain, and no matter how much damage they sustain it is very rarely noticeable.
Here it is, and although it is not a big thing, it does show that these aren’t superheroes.
This movie will likely not appeal if you enjoy action movies with a charismatic lead, or where character development and plot are as crucial as the action.
But you are looking forward to a straightforward action movie to end the week, you may enjoy this film.