Taran Killam

The Illegitimates 2 (January 2014)

Illegitimates 1I tried, I really did try. But Sharpe’s lame, generic buff figures are just too much. He’s got no style, no finesse. The script is full of James Bond winks and Sharpe can’t bring personality to stereotypes much less settings.

But it’s not all Sharpe’s fault. Andreyko and Killam do a fine job with all the James Bond stuff–the villains conspiring, the crisis station–they just don’t do a good job with their lead actors, the James Bond Squad or whatever.

The writers go for cheap gags instead of actual scenes. Not one of the presumable main cast members has any personality in this issue, not a one. It’s like reading a movie trailer and getting all the worst parts of the movie left in. I’m sure the creators–and IDW–are hoping for a movie deal on the concept.

Because they sure don’t have it on the story.

D+ 

CREDITS

We Are Family; writers, Marc Andreyko and Taran Killam; penciller, Kevin Sharpe; inker, Diana Greenhalgh; colorist, Pete Pantazis; letterer, Thomas F. Zahler; editor, Sarah Gaydos; publisher, IDW Publishing.

The Illegitimates 1 (December 2013)

291663 20131218190725 largeI thought The Illegitimates was from Image. It’s from IDW. Now the art makes sense. Kevin Sharpe and Diana Greenhalgh are slick without being fully competent.

Okay, on to the rest. I’m looking forward to the next issue, but I don’t know why. The comic opens somewhat weakly, a retread of James Bond standards (except with a guy named Jack Steel–I think). Then it’s clear writers Marc Andreyko and Taran Killam are going through the Bond filmography and its different styles and commenting on the change. It’s cool. Or maybe I just like Moonraker jokes.

The comes the setup. The guy dies and now MI–6 is going to turn his bastard offspring from over the years into a super spy team. They introduce all the bastards in question and there you go.

Except, nothing’s going to be as amusing as the initial joke. But I’ll be back anyway.

C+ 

CREDITS

Who’s Your Daddy?; writers, Marc Andreyko and Taran Killam; penciller, Kevin Sharpe; inker, Diana Greenhalgh; colorist, Pete Pantazis; letterer, Thomas F. Zahler; editor, Sarah Gaydos; publisher, IDW Publishing.

The Heat (2013, Paul Feig), the unrated cut

I’m trying to imagine The Heat without Melissa McCarthy. Even though she gets second billing–the film opens introducing Sandra Bullock’s character, a superior FBI agent with no personal skills (and an odd klutziness the film never actually deals with)–McCarthy’s the only reason to watch the film and she’s the only consistently good thing in it.

Bullock ends up okay. She’s got a character arc, McCarthy doesn’t. But Bullock basically just stops being annoying and then she’s better. Inexplicably, for the postscripts, the film returns her more to the annoying side, which sort of closes things poorly.

Except McCarthy’s there to save it.

There’s a plot involving a mystery drug dealer and the most unlikely FBI operation on film, then some stuff with McCarthy’s ex-con brother (a downtrodden Michael Rapaport). Mostly it’s about McCarthy being funny, being obscene, making fun of Bullock in funny, obscene ways. Then, once they bond, it’s about them making fun of other people. There’s not much of an actual plot. There’s a really odd part where there’s a useless phone bugging.

The humor’s constant and Feig does a fine job directing the large cast. There’s a lot of thankless appearances. Between the more recognizable supporting cast members–Marlon Wayans, Jane Curtin, Thomas F. Wilson–only Wilson gets a good laugh. Curtin should, but she’s too underutilized. Her casting seems like an afterthought. Wayans, who’s good, has nothing to do.

It’s a fine time and an excellent vehicle for McCarthy. The rest doesn’t matter.

1.5/4★½

CREDITS

Directed by Paul Feig; written by Katie Dippold; director of photography, Robert D. Yeoman; edited by Jay Deuby and Brent White; music by Michael Andrews; production designer, Jefferson Sage; produced by Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping; released by 20th Century Fox.

Starring Sandra Bullock (Ashburn), Melissa McCarthy (Mullins), Demian Bichir (Hale), Marlon Wayans (Levy), Michael Rapaport (Jason Mullins), Jane Curtin (Mrs. Mullins), Spoken Reasons (Rojas), Dan Bakkedahl (Craig), Taran Killam (Adam), Michael McDonald (Julian) and Thomas F. Wilson (Captain Woods).


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