ROLE PLAY (2024)
Release Date: 01/12/24 [Prime Video]
Genre: Action. Comedy. Romance.
Studio: Prime Video.
"Emma has a wonderful husband and two kids in the suburbs of New Jersey. She also has a secret life as an assassin for hire, a secret that her husband Dave discovers when the couple decide to spice up their marriage with a little role play."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Role Play nails the first act with precision, providing a fun introduction to our characters and their family life. Spicing up their love life with a little role play, something Kaley Cuoco’s Emma knows a little more about than she’s letting on to her husband Dave (David Olyelowo). After a bit of delay during their proposed meet up at a fancy hotel bar, Emma is met by the eye contact of the rapid speaking, hilariously awkward yet simultaneously suave Bob (Bill Nighy). Now if the film would’ve remained focused on this budding and complicated relationship, I’d have been down to enjoy this unique and uncomfortable chemistry for the duration of the runtime with no issue. Sadly, this relationship is quickly terminated and so is the hope for the film to be something strong amongst Prime Video’s streaming catalog.
Kaley Cuoco is a standout here, truly embracing her time as an action star and while not diving as hardcore into the spy game as Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde, she does an admirable job. Her co-lead David Oyelowo is exceptional as the average stay at home dad, taking care of the kids and wanting to spice things up in a rather mundane form of living. So when the night the couple run into the overly friendly Bob at a hotel bar, Anna ultimately has to take care of the situation to protect her family. From there, things spiral quickly for both the character narratively and for us, as we watch the potential slide away into a bland espionage thriller.
The second and third act (especially) are where the film overthinks, deflating it’s secretive Mr. & Mrs. Smith scenario for a "fish out of water" tired tale. The villain and the reasoning behind the “big bad” organization behind the operation and deceit leaves a lot up to exhausted tropes. By the time the action starts going full blast, the film is over and the end result is a lackluster conclusion with an open ending. It’s fantastic to see Cuoco branch out again into the thriller genre but in this case it’s clear that Role Play is a failed mission.