THE UPSIDE Review — Bryan Cranston Scores With An Assist From Kevin Hart

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The Upside Review — The American version works just fine, thanks to the clever chemistry between its two stars.

The Upside ReviewLet’s get this out of the way at the start: Yes, it’s an American remake of the fabulous French film The Intouchables. And no, the English language version is not quite as good. But how many of you saw the French version, and if you did, remember it well enough to compare the two? This review is not about disappointment that the two films are not on the same level.

This review is about whether The Upside can stand alone on its own merits, and my answer is a resounding yes. The chemistry between Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart, and to a lesser degree Nicole Kidman, in a fascinating film based on a true story, combine to offer a healthy dose of enjoyment. And isn’t that what most people look for in a movie?

Cranston plays Phillip Lacasse, a dispirited billionaire who has become a quadriplegic in a hang gliding accident, and has recently lost his beloved wife to cancer. Kidman is Yvonne, his executive assistant, who is trying to help Lascasse put his life back together and find something to live for. Hart plays ex con Dell Scott, an extraordinarily incompetent personal aid with mountains of baggage, whom Cranston hires on a morbid whim.

It’s fun, it’s touching, and it’s not entirely predictable. While Hart is gregarious, he’s a bit more reigned in than usual, which will appeal to those of you who find him over the top. And Cranston is just so darned watchable he has no problem conveying emotion without even lifting a finger. Yes, Kidman is a bit wasted, but the film is none the worse for it.

Regardless of how it compares to its French predecessor, The Upside is a highly watchable film.

Rated PG-13

2 Hours 6 Minutes

If this The Upside review entices you to run out and see it, get times and tickets at Fandango.com.

The Upside Review — The American version works just fine, thanks to the clever chemistry between its two stars.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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