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Stars: David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Sharlto Copley, Thandie Newton, Harry Treadaway, Melonie Diaz, Yul Vazquez, Alan Ruck

Director: Nash Edgerton

Filled with actors who have done better work elsewhere, this is a suet pudding of a movie that never drags you along with its narrative. Good comedy needs to have characters you can believe in, but those here are so overdrawn that their fates barely concern us.

Oyelowo, a fine dramatic actor unsuited to action comedy, is Harold, a Nigerian working for an American firm whose crooked boss (Edgerton, brother of the director), while banging both his predatory partner (Theron really overdoing it) and Harold's wife (Newton), is planning an unscrupulous merger that will place Harold firmly on the scrapheap.

On an already perilous assignment in Mexico, Harold gets wind of all this and hatches a plan of his own to get his employer, whom he had thought to be his friend, to cough up a million-dollar ransom on a fake kidnap scam. All sorts of complications ensue, involving a druglord (Vazquez), Edgerton's mercenary/assassin brother (Copley), and a wide-eyed American tourist (Seyfried), whose boyfriend is on an illegal mission.

There's action, functional direction and a happy ending, with Edgerton the best of a struggling cast, but none of it bears more than a cursory glance.

David Quinlan

USA/Australia/Canada 2018. UK Distributor: STX International (Amazon Studios). Technicolor.
110 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 08 Mar 2018