film reel image

film reel image

Friday, September 16, 2022

Unplugging 2022 * * Stars


You don't see much of Eva Longoria anymore and it's weird to view character actor Matt Walsh in a lead role. But here they are, playing a head-scratching married couple in 2022's Unplugging. Unplugging is a lightweight comedy whose tones are ambitious yet skewed. There are times when the film sort of turns into heavy-handed drama (I stress the words sort of). There are other times when Unplugging's setting suggests that it might become horror fare (I stress the word might). All of what's on screen is uneven but hey, the producers needed to expand more on a premise that feels airy and trivial (too much cell phone usage and bad cell reception are the dated topics).

So yeah, there's a reason why a flick like Unplugging was never gonna be released in theaters. I'm not talking about the COVID situation here, I'm talking about what Unplugging is well, about. I mean did we really need a movie about two spouses who take a weekend sabbatical because today's modern technology is getting in the way of their union? Not really. It doesn't carry enough weight, well maybe if Unplugging was in the form of a third quarter Super Bowl commercial.

Longoria and Walsh (as Unplugging's couple in Dan and Jeanine) are game in their performances because why not. They're probably glad to be working actors while collecting that almighty paycheck. If they were A-lister-s they wouldn't even touch this thing with a stick let alone be okay with the film's generic title. I give kudos to them and their commitment because otherwise Unplugging would be so nugatory it might just float away.

Look for Unplugging's road trip remnants, its mild slapstick antics, its drones (wha??), and its yokel characters encountered in the middle of nowhere (because cinema just has to have them). Unplugging is not as awful as I thought it would be but aside from projecting itself as a harmless time-waster, it's still mediocrity "unplugged".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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