Neither as resolutely crass nor as offensively sexist as buzz might suggest, Hall Pass is pretty much what you’d expect of a remarriage comedy from the conservative Farrelly Brothers – a dopey but earnest endorsement of monogamy. Here, they cast Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis as Rick and Fred, 40ish suburban horndogs of the stripe that fantasize about the vigorous sex lives they might be enjoying had they remained single. Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate are the wives who tolerate their ogling, childishness, and other dopey dudebro behavior, eventually issuing them hall passes in hopes of getting the overtly raffish behavior out of their systems.
In the match-up pitting Jackie Chan against the Hollywood machine, Hollywood wins. This relentlessly mediocre action comedy — more or less indistinguishable from the other mediocre action movies Chan has made on his visits to L.A. — is the proof. Formulaic to the point of distraction and saddled with one of the stupidest musical scores in recent memory (not to mention the super hits of the 70s that are trotted out in a sad effort at making this shit swing), its only heart is the one worn on Jackie’s sleeve and its only soul that of lovesick Owen Wilson. Even the fight sequences, which are in fact marked with the barely perceptible stamp of their real auteur, Chan himself, are oddly inert in their staging, sapped of the wit and energy that crackles through his best Hong Kong films. At some point, knocking a popular entertainment that’s this inept yet willing to please is like kicking a puppy, and I have to admit that I did laugh out loud at one fight scene that takes place among a cache of precious heirlooms.