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Film: Role Play
Cast: Kaley Cuoco, David Oyelowo. Bill Nighy, Connie Neilsen
Director: Thomas Vincent
Rating: 2/5

This story about an assassin whose secret life is discovered by her family after the bounty on her head touches the stratosphere, is nothing but a rehash of countless TV shows and films with similar story arcs. The spouse living a double life will come as stale territory for those who watch movies even at irregular intervals.

Emma ( Kaley Cuoco who played Penny of  the long-running ‘The Big Bang theory’ fame) is a good mother when she is around for her two kids – a son from her husband’s previous relationship and a biological daughter. They live in New Jersey and Emma appears to live the high-life of a financial consultant, always travelling around for work. Emma is actually a contract assassin who works in disguises (mostly wigs) with aliases, while telling Dave,  the most trusting man on Earth (incredibly ?) , that she is off to yet another generic work conference in Nebraska or some other locale. Dave only happens to discover her true calling when they decide to spice up their marriage with a role-play treat at a five star hotel. It’s now getting more and more difficult to believe in such fancy constructs about a so-called ‘Happy’ family being oblivious to one family member’s duplicity. And we’re not talking about affairs here.

This film from director Thomas Vincent and screenwriter Seth W Owen though inspired (literally) is nothing but a drab and routine run of action with the husband Dave (David Oyelowo) being the oblivious one. While the thrill seeking goes beyond what the beleaguered couple expected, it’s not so for the audience. There’s nothing really original here other than the casting. Veteran Bill Nighy, in an all-too-brief role, plays a fellow assassin Bob Kellerman, gunning for Emma’s head, Connie Nielsen is Emma’s crazy adoptive mother and mentor turned enemy, and David Oyelowo is almost apoplectic in his attempts to come to terms with the ‘atomic bomb’ he is faced with in his personal life. After all, what can you expect from the man in the ‘muddle’ other than to keep it cool and sucker up to his wife if he wants to keep his family alive?

The action is sporadic, the comedy is barely there and the narrative is wholly predictable. The writing is rather pedestrian and the performances are largely workmanlike. Everyone appears to be going through the motions, here. The only reason you’d watch this silly ‘role-play’ is if you have nothing better to do!



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