The Odd Couple II Review

It’s time to look at the sequel to the original Odd Couple film. It’s definitely nice to see the two together again but the sequel ultimately couldn’t manage to keep a lot of what made the first film so much fun. I don’t think it was a bad idea to get these two out of the house for a sequel. You need to experiment with sequels to see what the next big thing could be. The main problem here is that it just didn’t work out which is always a risk in these kind of scenarios.

So Oscar was enjoying a nice game of poker with the crew when he gets a call that his son is getting married. Oscar’s excited for the kid and gets ready to hop on a plane, but there is one catch. His kid is getting married to Felix’s kid and Felix naturally doesn’t have a ride so Oscar is going to have to drive him over now. Oscar knows this isn’t going to end well but tries to make the most of it. The problem is that Felix immediately needs a lot of breaks to use the bathroom or to go eat. Will Oscar still make it in time for the actual wedding or is he doomed now?

In a film like this both parties will ultimately make some mistakes but there is usually one party who is clearly more at fault. In this case that would be Felix. He was just a little too unreasonable at times as he always tends to be. On the plane he couldn’t sit next to anyone and having to take so many breaks on the car is a problem. Maybe once you’re 90 or something you need to constantly stop but Felix isn’t that old yet. He can wait an extra hour without eating and then things would work out better for him. He also seems to get upset awful fast in this one as he even threatens Oscar a few times. Felix has definitely let himself go over the edge in these latter years.

Oscar is a lot of fun as always though. He tries to have a good time and has a good one liner comeback for everything Felix says. Oscar is always ready for what comes next and he just seems like a much more reasonable guy than Felix. He makes his share of mistakes like forgetting Felix’s luggage and blowing up the maps of course. I blame Felix halfway for the luggage though but the maps was all on Oscar. Oscar just seems like an easier guy to get along with. If you have a good time then he will as well. Felix is the one who always tries to make it personal.

There’s not much to say about the kids, but Oscar’s son definitely comes across as a pretty terrible character. You just can’t have second thoughts about the wedding on the last second before walking up the aisle. That’s just terrible and the worst time to have a crisis. Considering that the guy only gets a few seconds of screen time there also isn’t time to get to like the guy or to understand why he is having doubts. Maybe there are legitimate concerns but based on his scenes…probably not.

The film fumbles a bit around the halfway point with Oscar and Felix heading to a bar and flirting with some locals. The whole scene has nothing to do with anything and the age gap here is so large that its just sad. These scenes have no point being in the film and they should have been cut. I suspect they were only added in to give the heroes another scene with the cops but we definitely could have found other ways to do that. We don’t have to make Oscar look this desperate.

The police subplot was actually entertaining. It was fun to see the heroes go back to the station over and over with new crimes. That’s the kind of running gag that makes sense for a movie like this as it can ultimately tie into the ending and connect the various plots. I was half expecting to see all of the cops at the ceremony. Maybe the writers felt like that would have been a little too cheesy though. I dunno, I think it would have worked out just fine.

In terms of writing the film trips up a little as well. Felix drops in some pretty intense language which was incredibly forced. I can’t think of any time an f bomb was thrown in that wasn’t forced to be honest. It just never works no matter what the context is. Keep the language under control and your writing will always be better for it. The movie has a lot of funny moments and a lot of scenes that don’t land as you would expect for most comedy films. The pacing is solid so ultimately you stay entertained. One thing that would have helped the film further would have been to remove the random romance plot for Felix at the end. Not only is it making him look desperate again but there is not enough time to establish a relationship. I don’t care what the scenario is, a 3 hour flight is not enough time to really get to know anyone. It’s especially no good if your only reason to make conversation is because you are looking to get into a relationship.

The only organic way this can work is if you are chatting to someone because you actually just want to pass the time by. The two of you have some shared interests and that leads to being friends so you trade facebook profiles and stay in contact. Maybe 10 years later you pursue a relationship but by then both of you will have realized that nothing beats being facebook buddies. Basically what I’m getting at is that this was yet another plot that didn’t need to be in the film. It should have focused more on the banter between Felix and Oscar with scenes like driving the truck or making a bunch of stops. After a point there are too many distractions that take away from the main focus of the actual film.

Overall, The Odd Couple II is a film that should give you some laughs. The pacing is solid and it’s fun to see the main two bickering again like the good ole days. The film just should have trimmed some of the subplots like the finale which comes out of nowhere and the hanging out with two girls at the club part. Work on the writing a bit and then you’ve got a very solid film. The premise is still good and I think a reboot could possibly still work to improve upon this one. I suspect we’ll have to wait a little while for one of those though. If you really like the first Odd Couple film then you should check this one out. Just don’t expect it to be quite as good as the original.

Overall 5/10

The Odd Couple Review

It’s time to look at the original Odd Couple film. The TV show was always pretty fun but how would the movie fare in comparison? Naturally you aren’t going to go in expecting it to beat the actual show but if it could still be a fun adventure and work as an episode then that would be a success. I can safely say that this was a pretty fun movie. It’s definitely aged well and the concept is timeless.

The film starts off with Oscar having a card game with his buddies as per their weekly routine. Initially I actually thought that one of the friends was actually Oscar since he was certainly pretty confident in his chair and smoking to boot. They’re all having a good time until they realize that Felix has been out a while and may be trying to destroy himself. Fortunately that guy managed to pull his back so now he was unable to do it and makes it back home. Oscar realizes that Felix can’t be by himself for a while so he suggests that Felix moves in and then they will be roommates. Felix agrees and so their story begins. However, Felix may prove to be a bit more of a handful than Oscar ever could have imagined.

Right away you may be on team Oscar here as he was willing to make a pretty big change in his life just to help Felix. He was perfectly content living by himself and only did this because Felix still seemed to be a bit crazy. He’s also quite patient with Felix’s antics. Felix chases off all of Oscar’s friends, makes him miss the big moment in a Baseball game, is embarrassingly loud at restaurants, cries a lot, etc. Oscar is able to look past this since he does want to be a good friend. Oscar’s not perfect and he’s certainly not the cleanest guy around, but he always seems pretty reasonable.

Then we’ve got Felix. He’s a lot harder to sympathize with since Felix ends up taking everything too seriously and just makes things way too difficult for Oscar. Some things just feel deliberate like his allergies. Even if his method is effective, he just comes across as too socially insensitive. Felix either doesn’t realize that half of the things he does are so extreme or he doesn’t care. Both options don’t really help his case all that much. So when the two characters inevitably fight and Felix thinks about moving out you have to admit that it’s the right call. If the bridge can’t be mended then at the end of the day it is still Oscar’s place and he can make living there pretty uncomfortable for Felix.

The film goes at a pretty good pace. Some scenes may be a little long like the opening where the main characters think that Felix might die though. It went on for such a large chunk that I was wondering if the film’s main story was going to include those friends the whole time. It’s a fun scene all around though so maybe the length was necessary to ensure the writers could throw all of the jokes in there. I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of the friends really. They seemed decently nice even if they were on the completely opposite side of Oscar in how tolerant they were of Felix. They didn’t even give him a chance.

I’d say that the writing is pretty solid as well. The characters are mostly reasonable and the contrast between Oscar and Felix is depicted well. You can almost instantly see how the dynamic will play out because the two characters’ traits can be guessed as soon as they appear. If there is a weak point in the movie it would have to be the part with the Pigeon sisters. They aren’t all that entertaining and are probably the most exaggerated characters. They laugh at everything and seem like rather odd neighbors for sure. the “romance” angle here is mostly just used for comedy as you know Oscar has no shot as long as Felix is around. While the scene does give Oscar a big reason to finally leave Felix for good it could have been done another way.

The climax is also why Felix certainly couldn’t end up being a good character for me. Timid or not, he totally deserted Oscar there when the main character needed him the most. When you start something you gotta see it through and Felix did not. As a result he basically betrayed Oscar. This gets even worse in the ending where we find out who he ran to while making everyone else worry. Felix is a humorous character so I’ll give him that. The guy has his moments, but when the chips are down he is someone that you absolutely cannot count on. He will let you down every time.

As far as the soundtrack goes there is really one big theme, but it has certainly gotten iconic over the years. The TV show remixed it a bit, but if you’ve seen the show you will still recognize the theme as soon as it shows up. It’s a pretty good slice of life theme and adds some atmosphere to the first scene of the movie. Based on the beginning you actually may get the wrong idea about the genre for a little while which is nice. The film did a good job with the misdirect there which really started the film off on a good note.

Overall, The Odd Couple is a pretty fun film. The jokes are well delivered and the dynamic between the main characters works well for this kind of plot. Oscar is definitely the guy I was rooting for as his more laid back approach just makes him a lot easier to get along with. Still, Felix isn’t as bad as he could have been as with these kinds of films one character usually ends up being super unreasonable. Felix doesn’t falter much until the end of the film. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I’d recommend checking it out. It’s just a pretty balanced movie that makes for a good watch.

Overall 7/10