TRight away, I want to confirm that The Intouchables (2011), the French film on which The Upside is based is absolutely better than this remake starring Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman.
Centred around the friendship that emerges between a wealthy paraplegic and an unemployed man with a criminal record who’s hired to help him, The Upside isn’t an exact copy of The Intouchables. There are some scenes that are very much the same. There are also a few more characters that were added; mainly the one played very well by Aja Naomi King.
I found that the best parts in director Neil Burger’s movie are the moments that weren’t too close to exact copies of scenes from the original. The original scenes always came out on top in my mind.
As for the performances, King was great in her role. Cranston, his super comic timing and Kidman are also undoubtedly very talented actors. Yet, even with all this seasoned talent, there’s no saving this movie from itself. It’s missing that special spark, all-round chemistry and flow that the original has. I enjoyed some of the comic moments between Cranston and Hart’s characters (especially during the birthday pary) but since The Upside is Hart’s first dramatic role, there’s definitely room for him to grow – and I look forward to seeing that progression in future performances.
On summary, watch The Upside if you really want to see for yourself how different it is from The Intouchables. Otherwise, it’s probably better to watch other great works by the talented cast.
Happy Film Loving