Over the top is the order of the day at the discount theaters, with two comedies and an action spectacle where too much isn’t enough. ---
Audiences still can’t seem to get enough of big robots beating the shit out of each other, so it’s fortunate that if nothing else were true about Transformers: Dark of the Moon, it’s that Michael Bay also can’t get enough. And he continues to not know when to shut up through another two and a half hours that’s not necessarily worse than either of the other previous two-and-a-half-hour adventures, but added together is just soul-deadening.
There’s familiarity in The Change-Up, as well, the latest variation on the “body swap” comedy genre, this one with a workaholic family man (Jason Bateman) and his irresponsible pal (Ryan Reynolds) trading lives. The problems generally come from all the ways this one doesn’t adhere to the formula, including plenty of R-rated crudeness and a failure to make the two swapping personas distinct enough.
Plentiful naughtiness is also on display in Bad Teacher, with Cameron Diaz playing the titular self-absorbed educator. Refreshing though it may be that there are few important life lessons here, the whole thing often feels like a tossed together collection of gags that depends on entirely on whether those individual gags are funny. Sometimes yes; more often, not so much.