Penthouse North

I’ve never really understood how Michelle Monaghan got to be in movies, let alone get a star role – let alone headline an actual entire film. It’s not that she’s a bad actress, it’s just she’s – how to say this nicely? – entirely underwhelming. And wet. That sort of came out wrong: it’s just that she’s projects a very strange, prudishly sexless notion of womanhood. Perhaps that’s why Penthouse North works, sort of?

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In it she plays a war photographer (hah) made sightless in a blast, who’s now recuperating in a swish penthouse apartment owned by her handsome new boyfriend. But who is this new man in her life really, and what does she know about him? Does she know he’s a jewel thief or that some very bad men want their stuff back? Does she, doesn’t she? That’s the thing. Anyway, it’s not going to be the breakout movie of 2013 or anything, but it does what it does. Penthouse North is set in Manhattan but it filmed in Ottawa.

The Other Guys

When two of New York’s finest are killed in the line of duty (a cracking comedic turn from Dwayne Johnson to start the movie) it’s left for two desk-bound paper-pushers – The Other Guys – to fill their shoes. At first that seems pretty unlikely; Allen (Will Ferrell) is one prissy, nerdy, perky forensic accountant who irritates the living shit out of his partner Terry (Marky Mark Wahlberg). But as they investigate a massive multi-billion dollar fraud, Allen’s darker alter-ego begins to take control.

Oh, you know, I’ve tried writing this review so many times but there’s just not that much to say. It’s an absolutely silly film, carried by Ferrell’s completely impervious performance, a bit of ridiculous banter and some daft running jokes. I found the workplace hostility all a bit off-putting, but otherwise it’s a ludicrously non-challenging way to spend an hour or two. The setting is undeniably New York but it’s kind of random and could really have been anywhere – there’s a scene at Madison Square Garden (Jennifer Connolly; “Call me!”) and another great little setpiece at the Golf Driving Range at Chelsea Piers but for the rest, it could have been Toronto.

Oh, one last thing: Ray Stevenson won’t get any awards for his Australian accent though: what was that?