Review: ‘The Upside’ is an Anemic Remake Jolted by Comedic Chemistry

Hearing the logline for The Upside one might be forgiven for assuming that they could predict the beats of the film act by act. After all, after viewing nearly a century of films in which two men from vastly different racial and economic backgrounds are forced together through the machinations of outrageous fortune, how much variation can really exist anymore? Green Book, which tilled similar ground less than three months ago, was practically a primer on what we could expect from The Upside. Hilarious and insightful misunderstandings; jolly sojourns into one another’s lives; dramatic misunderstandings that lead to greater empathy; and eventually a realization that we humans aren’t so different from one another.

Shockingly, The Upside—which pairs Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston as a fast-talking ex-con Dell and a quadriplegic billionaire Phillip, respectively—does find a way to subvert these expectations. Bafflingly, it does so not by
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