‘Shotgun Wedding’ is an Entertaining But Predictable Romantic Comedy
Director Jason Moore delivers an action-packed rom-com that features fun performances from Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Coolidge, and Josh Duhamel.
Premiering on Prime Video January 27th is the new romantic action comedy ‘Shotgun Wedding,’ which was directed by Jason Moore (‘Pitch Perfect’).
The new movie stars Jennifer Lopez (‘Hustlers’) and Josh Duhamel (‘Bandit’) as Darcy and Tom, respectively, who decide to have a destination wedding on a small island. As their family and friends arrive, including Darcy’s Ex-boyfriend Sean (Lenny Kravitz), the couple get cold feet and begin to argue. But they soon must come together to save the wedding guest’s when they are all taken hostage by Pirates.
In addition to Lopez, Duhamel, and Kravitz, the cast also includes Jennifer Coolidge (‘American Pie’), Sonia Braga (‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’), Cheech Marin (‘Coco’), D’Arcy Carden (‘The People We Hate at the Wedding’), and Callie Hernandez (‘La La Land’).
The result is an entertaining and funny romantic action comedy, which features strong performances from the cast but is also very predictable.
I’m a sucker for any movie with a ‘Die Hard’ theme. It doesn’t matter if it is ‘Die Hard’ on a plane (‘Passenger 57’) or ‘Die Hard’ in the White House (‘Olympus Has Fallen’), I’ll watch it! Which is probably why I enjoyed ‘Shotgun Wedding’ because it’s basically just ‘Die Hard’ at a wedding. With all the ‘Die Hard’ clones that have been made over the years, I was surprised to realize that no one had thought of setting it at a wedding until now.
Originally conceived as a vehicle for Ryan Reynolds, who still serves as executive producer, the film was clearly retooled for Jennifer Lopez’s strengths once she came on board the project. And Lopez is uniquely qualified to star in this particular film as she is both believable in romantic comedies like ‘The Wedding Planner’ and ‘Maid in Manhattan,’ as well as action movies like ‘Out of Sight’ and ‘Parker.’ Lopez is in complete command in the romantic scenes with Duhamel, but she can also hold her own in the comedic scenes with Jennifer Coolidge, and looks completely believable firing a giant gun at the bad guys.
In some ways, this is really the complete Jennifer Lopez performance as you get a little bit of everything she’s good at, including singing, as there is one musical number at the end of the movie.
Veteran actor Josh Duhamel is probably best known from his appearances in the ‘Transformers’ movies, but has never really been given the opportunity to shine until now. Not unlike Lopez, ‘Shotgun Wedding’ gives Duhamel an opportunity to combine his comedic skills with his ability to be believable in an action role. The actor has some very funny moments in the movie, as well as sweet romantic scenes with Lopez, but also excels as an action-hero, along with J. Lo.
Jennifer Coolidge, finally a household name for her work on ‘The White Lotus’ and her award season acceptance speeches, plays Tom’s overprotective mother and is hilarious as always in the part. She essentially plays the same basic character she always plays, but it works perfectly for this project. She has great chemistry with Lopez, and even gets to shoot a gun herself in one scene.
Cheech Marin and Sonia Braga were also nice to see playing Darcy’s estranged parents, and Marin has some fun scenes with D’Arcy Carden, who plays his new girlfriend. Marin also has a funny storyline with Lenny Kravitz’s Sean, Darcy’s ex-boyfriend who her father is still in touch with and invites to the wedding. Kravitz probably gives the weakest performance in the movie, and is basically just playing a version of himself. The character might have worked better if he actually played himself, and if Darcy’s ex was the real Lenny Kravitz! Unfortunately, as it is in the movie, the thrill of seeing Kravitz on screen wears off quick and you are left with a lackluster performance.
In fact, the biggest problem with the film is its predictability. Obviously, we know that Tom and Darcy will survive, they will save the guests, and get married by the end of the movie, but we get there without any real surprises, which makes the movie drag at times. Even the reveal of the “true villain” in the third act was no real surprise, and could have been more of a mystery.
While the romantic comedy elements are baked into the premise of the film, it’s the action sequences directed by Jason Moore that really make the film work. There is a thrilling zipline scene with Duhamel, and Lopez has some great moments with a hand grenade. But one of the best action scenes in the movie involves a helicopter/boat chase at the end of the film.
At the end of the day, ‘Shotgun Wedding’ is a satisfying and entertaining romantic action comedy because of the strong performances from Lopez and Duhamel, who excel in this specific genre. It works as a cute rom-com, but also as a big budget action movie, and the supporting cast, especially Coolidge help fill out the film, even if it is predictable at times.
‘Shotgun Wedding’ receives 7 out of 10 stars.