'The Change-Up': What Critics Say


One calls it “hit-or-miss” while another says it offers only “the familiar and inevitable.”

The Change-Up, starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds as two friends who, in a freak accident, switch bodies, and therefore lives, opens in theaters, Friday, August 5.

The early reviews from critics have been critical of the film, while often pointing out that even the high caliber comedic skills of Bateman, Reynold and co-star Leslie Mann could not help the film.

Here are what some critics had to say about The Change-Up:

The Hollywood Reporter’s Kirk Honeycutt wrote that the Change-Up “bravely attempts to revive the dormant subgenre but it’s a lame effort that grows increasingly frantic and foul-mouthed as the realization sets in that the gimmick isn’t working.”

“What entertainment the film offers is that of the familiar and inevitable. Audiences can anticipate every plot turn well in advance and the outcome is never in doubt,” Honeycutt added.

VIDEO: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman's Raunchy 'The Change-Up' Promo

The AP’s Christy Lemire called David Dobkin’s film “overlong” and wrote that it “is all over the place in tone, veering awkwardly from some daring comic moments to feel-good sappiness and back again in hopes of redeeming some semblance of edginess.”

Of the actor’s work, she writes, “As an actor, Bateman gets the better end of the deal here: He's got Reynolds' wild child trapped inside of him, so he gets the showier part. Reynolds has a fearlessness when it comes to physical comedy but he's got Bateman's rigid, conservative character stuck in his body.”

Karina Longworth of The Village Voice calls it “hit-or-miss stuff,” and writes: “A rare R-rated entry in a genre usually geared to teens, The Change-Up pivots on the discrepancy in life experience and hipness between an adult and an adolescent, and, uh, distinguishes itself by maintaining an extreme, puerile worldview while finding a way to wedge ‘adult language’ into virtually every sentence.”

“Throughout The Change-Up, one senses the filmmakers revived this hoary chestnut of a tale so they could deliver the crudest version possible -- a bawdy-swap comedy, if you will -- more to satisfy presumed market demands than to maximize the story's potential,” wrote Variety’s Justin Chang.

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