Feb
27

The Bucket List

Posted by Abbie on February 27, 2008 under Achive

Remember Grumpy Old Men? The one with two formerly great actors (Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau) grasping desperately at a comeback by playing two old guys with a love/hate friendship? Yeah, well The Bucket List is pretty much Grumpy Old Men, only worse. At least Jack and Walter only argued over a woman. In The Bucket List Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are both terminal cancer patients going out in a blaze of glory by fulfilling every dream they’ve ever had before their time is up. I suppose it helps that Jack Nicholson’s character is a multi-millionaire and offers to finance their shenanigans.

Edward (Nicholson) is a stereotypical businessman – lots of money but no friends or family. Carter (Freeman) is a hard-working family man. Throughout their trip around the world, Edward predictably learns all about friendship and the importance of family and love from Carter. At the same time Carter gets to have the trip of a lifetime which he would never have been able to afford on his own. Edward made his money in buying hospitals and making them centres of business rather than places to receive quality care. He all too soon finds out that these corporate style hospitals, which are becoming all too common in the United States, are not always the most pleasant places. The film could have redeemed itself a bit if any sort of stance was taken on the issue, but no. The plot meanders and is extremely dry for much of the film.

It’s almost painful to watch actors with such talent ageing so disgracefully. These guys were Red in The Shawshank Redemption and Jack Torrence from The Shining – and The Joker from Batman! (Sidenote: why does Jack Nicholson always play characters named Jack?) There is no rational reason why they should have to stoop to things like The Bucket List. Honestly, neither should we.

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