Jun 2010 04

Get Him To The Greek Poster Jonah Hill Russell Brand“Get Him To The Greek” is a spin-off, if you will, of 2008’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” written by and starring Jason Segel. In that movie, British comedian Russell Brand played a foul-mouthed rock n’ roller named Aldous Snow. And we loved him for the role. So director Nicholas Stoller has returned to bring us a film that centers around getting Aldous to the famous Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) is an ambitious record company intern who has been given the task of flying to London to pick up Aldus Snow, and babysit him on his way to his big comeback show. Although his boss Sergio (Sean “P. Diddy” Combs) tells him this might not be an easy task, Aaron figures that it can’t be too hard. Unfortunately Aldus’ latest album called “African Child” has tanked, and was labeled as “the worst thing to happen to Africa since apartheid.” That along with a break up with singer Jackie Q (Rose Byrne), who is also the mother of his child, is enough to send Aldus into a downward spiral of partying and depression. Needless to say, the task is more daunting than Aaron could have ever imagined.

Going into the film, I had already been a big fan of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.” I also enjoy watching both Jonah Hill and Russell Brand, but I still wasn’t sure exactly what we were getting ourselves into with “Get Him To The Greek. But any reservations that I may have had quickly vanished within minutes into the film, and what followed was consistent humor – not to mention one of the funniest movies that has been released in a long time. The chemistry between the two leads in the film works really well, despite how different the two of them are from each other. That is part of the magic that makes it work. Jonah Hill’s character is pretty much by the book, while Russel Brand’s character plays by his own rules – living the true rock star persona. The combination of the two leads to a series of hilarious and unpredictable events, as they fly from London to New York, then to Vegas, and finally to Los Angeles.

Jonah Hill is probably most famous for his break-out tole in “Superbad,” where he also plays one half of a comedic duo on-screen. In “Get Him To The Greek,” the role is much different and has him grown up. But he shows us that he has what it takes to lead a comedy, and does it quite well. Russel Brand is hilarious as Aldus Snow, as he was in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and it was really great to see more of the character. He was one of the best parts of that film, and this movie proves why a movie had to be made about him. Although his humor may be a bit crass and quirky for some, most know what they are getting into and will enjoy every moment of it. Rose Byrne does a fantastic job as Aldus’ ex in the film, and the interaction between the two of them is great as Aldus tries to win her back. She is pretty much the female version of Aldus, and the two couldn’t be more perfect for each other. Probably one of the biggest surprises in the film is Sean Combs, who plays Aaron’s boss at the record company. His lines just come out of nowhere at times, making his character as random and spontaneous as possible at times. The best moments are the ones that you don’t expect, and he does a great job delivering them.

I was really impressed by the chemistry of the leads in the film, and I am glad that the movie was able to meet and exceed all of my expectations. The humor is pretty much non-stop, and the film is paced perfectly to keep things interesting. With a great cast, and lines that hardly ever fall short of the target, the movie makes for an enjoyable time. I can see a lot of re-watch value in this one, and I think that it will stay with audiences long after they leave the theater.

“Get Him To The Greek” is a B+

Another Take By Zac:

The Forgetting Sarah Marshall spin off, Get Him to the Greek, is a scatter shot of randomness and hilarious that is a tad disjointed but more than makes up for any awkwardness with some great humor from its three leads.

The film picks up sometime after Sarah Marshall’s timeline, Aldous Snow is no longer sober and is a menace/laughing stock of the music scene after his band Infant Sorrow’s offensive album knocked them out of the seemingly deserved spot light.  Enter Aaron, a low on the totem poll member of Aldous’ record company who suggests to his irate and frustrated boss Sergio that they should do an anniversary show of Infant Sorrow’s legendary performance at the Greek Theater in an attempt to make the company some money again.  Aldous agrees and Aaron, after a seeming break up with his girlfriend, is dispatched to England to make sure Aldous shows up on time and sober to LA for the concert.

And that is all the plot you really need to know and the plot kind of goes out the window from here anyway.  What follows is almost a series of mishaps, adventures, and foible vignettes as the two sex, drug, and rock n’ roll their way back to LA.  From London, New York City, Vegas, and LA the supposed to be two day trip is drug out to the max and getting to the concert on time is put into jeopardy time and time again.

The humor is random, broad, and crazy at times and both Russell Brand and Jonah Hill dive headfirst into the fun of it all.  They gags stoop lower than you would expect and the depravity only fuels the humor at times as the two leads continue their wonderful chemistry, though completely different, from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  Brand’s Snow is smart, quick witted, and a travesty to those around him.  Pushing them to do things you would never imagine Hill’s adoring Aaron is a play thing for the egotistical Snow who has no problem pushing the underling around.

The direction of the film never really surprises you but the humor is solid from start to finish; with moments of brilliance mixed in every so often.  Director Nicholas Stoller could have trimmed up a couple scenes here and there, but at the same time I can easily imagine his struggle to pick out and trim down everything he should have as you can tell him and his cast are having a blast making this film.

Speaking of the cast, it is great all around.  Brand is fantastic as Snow again but don’t expect yourself to warm up to him if you didn’t like him in Marshall.  There is more of him and he gets even crazier which is great for fans of the character and probably annoying to everyone else.  Hill is playing the straight man in Aaron but he gets plenty of fun scenes and insanity to play with as Aaron is easily corrupted by Snow.  Rose Byrne is smoking hot as Snow’s ex and her moments with Brand are actually quite sweet as there is a decent romantic undercurrent hiding way under the insanity for both of the male leads.  Elisabeth Moss displays some comedy chops as Aaron’s girlfriend and she seems to fit right in with some of these seasoned comedians.  The film is also full of a number of inspired cameos but Sean Combs might be the best thing about this movie.  Puffy is hilarious and psychotic as Sergio and he goes toe to toe improve wise with Hill and Brand who are two of the sharpest in the business.  To spoil the silly brilliance of his performance would be a disservice but don’t let Combs’ appearance in the film deter you from seeing it as he continues to show that he can be a quality actor on the big screen.

In the end, Get Him to the Greek is a winning comedy that rarely drops a note and clips along at a fine pace.  If anything it is a tad bloated and too disjointed but it is still and enjoyable comedy that supplies plenty of laughs.  Fans of Brand will love what he gives you here, with a surprising amount of range as well, and the supporting cast does great work as well.  Hill shows he can co-carry a film and I have an odd feeling we haven’t seen the end of these characters quite yet if the film does well.

Get Him to the Greek is a B


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