Greta is a disappointment from Jordan, who’s made far better movies (“The Crying Game,” “The End of the Affair” and, more recently, the elegant vampire film “Byzantium”), but Huppert seizes hold of the film and chills it, in a way that’s both shiver-inducing and bracing.
Take “Billy Elliot,” trade the refined world of ballet for the “soap opera in spandex” of professional wrestling, swap the preteen boy for a young woman, throw in The Rock — because every movie is better with The Rock, right? — and you’ve got Fighting With My Family, a shaggily likable underdog tale.
It’s a bunch of plastic blocks that have an adventure, and it’s basically insane; not quite as pleasantly so as the first movie (the element of astonished surprise isn’t there), but hey, that’s a high bar. Everything is … oh, damn it, there I go again.
What we have here is mostly a straight-up, mildly raunchy rom-com, where everyone learns lessons and gets a happy ending. But Shankman gives it all an agreeable bounce, and Henson (better known for dramatic roles, in “Hidden Figures,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and TV’s “Empire”) zestfully dives into the comedy.
The film’s light, sardonic approach is a tricky match with its subject matter: 9/11; power-crazed, empty-souled politicians; dark ambitions. It’s entertaining, sure, but a lot of us might not feel like laughing.
It isn’t “Working Girl” — Second Act is more earnest and less funny — but it’s a pleasant enough diversion, helped along immensely by Lopez’s warm screen presence and by a first-rate Sassy Best Friend performance by Leah Remini.
You find yourself focusing on the details of Alexandra Byrne’s flowing costumes, or on the wince-inducing meticulousness of Robbie’s post-pox makeup, rather than caught up in the story. Except when Ronan’s face catches the light; there, Mary Queen of Scots finds its fire.