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June 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

With a surfeit of sequels in theaters this summer, Get Him to the Greek arrives mostly as a character sequel. Co-producer Judd Apatow, who has more or less cornered the market on raunchy comedies with a heart, revives Russell Brand’s addled rock star character Aldous Snow from Forgetting Sarah Marshall and puts him front and center in this movie. Jonah Hill, who played a different character in Marshall, plays straight man to Brand in this movie. Writer-director Nicholas Stoller, who also directed Marshall, is on the receiving end of the critics’ apportionment of credit and blame. Credit is dispensed with restraint. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times concludes his review by remarking unenthusiastically, “Under the cover of slapstick, cheap laughs, raunchy humor, gross-out physical comedy and sheer exploitation, Get Him to the Greek also is fundamentally a sound movie.” A.O. Scott in the New York Times concludes his review in exactly the same way, noting that the movie, “anarchic and occasionally slipshod as it may be, was made with enough care to earn the affection of its fans.” But Claudia Puig in USA Today observes that the movie is a lot like its rock-star character: “whacked-out, occasionally clever but in need of impulse control and direction.” What the movie primarily has going for it, several critics suggest, are strong performances by the two leads. Stephen Cole remarks in the Toronto Globe & Mail: “Hill is sweet in a way we’ve never seen. His innocence prompts the marauding Snow to slow down and think, lending charm and dramatic tension to what might have been a tediously eccentric comedy. Brand, meanwhile, is a one-man Spinal Tap with the faucet open wide.” Mick LaSalle writes in the San Francisco Chronicle that “Brand has the look and the authority of a celebrity, as well as a quality that makes it hard to know when he’s sincere and when he’s putting people on, or if he even remembers the difference. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him considered for some critics awards at the end of the year. Jonah Hill, in his most mature role to date, is a good comic actor and ideal as a rational observer of the madness.” But Ty Burr in the Boston Globe says that one should not overlook the performance of Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, in the role of Sergio, a record-company executive: “Who’d have guessed: P. Diddy steals a movie! What begins as a smallish guest role … keeps growing until Sergio has become Aaron’s on-call guru in the care and feeding of infantile rock stars. The movie builds to a delirious high in which Aldous, Sergio, and the rocker’s seedy ex-manager father (Colm Meaney) try to violently psych each other out in a hotel suite that’s on fire, and you realize with a shock that Combs is the funniest person in the room.”

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