It’s less a biography than an extended essay, which is entirely a good thing. If you want a thorough documentation of everything Morrison has done and everyone she knows, there’s always Wikipedia. But if you’d prefer an argument for her importance and a sense of her presence, then you won’t be disappointed.
You occasionally sense the presence of an interesting movie struggling to get out of this hyperactive action comedy — or even just a better Tim Story action comedy, something like “Ride Along” or “Ride Along 2.”
Every time you think Late Night is settling into familiar tropes — about workplace politics, mean bosses, long marriages, fish out of water, bootstraps and how to pull them — it shifts a few degrees and finds a fresh perspective.
Comedy is in a weird place right now, and The Hustle deserves some credit for fulfilling its own modest, escapist ambitions. Unlike a lot of what we see these days, in movies and elsewhere, it doesn’t feel like a rip-off or a scam. It’s downright innocent.
The sweet smarts of Mitchell’s first movie, “The Myth of the American Sleepover” (treated to a bit of auto-allusion in “Silver Lake”) aren’t much in evidence here. Nor are the slippery psychosexual scares of “It Follows,” his breakthrough horror movie from 2015. The ambitions this time are grander, but also vaguer and duller.
Rather than illuminating the politics of the present by examining the struggles of the past, Bissell lurches from folksy comedy to clattering melodrama, producing the opposite of enlightenment. To quote an old protest song: When will we ever learn?
What The Beach Bum celebrates as transgression is pure tedium. What it takes for divine lunacy is frat house doggerel. The booze flows freely. The women are topless and ornamental. The cars and boats are fast and expensive. There’s nothing much worth writing about.