When asked why he directed Before We Go, Chris Evans replied “Because it looked easy. It’s just two people talking.” That forceful display of passion and determination is precisely why Before We Go is a complete waste of anybody’s time. One could easily say it is Evans’ vanity project so he can make out with Alice Eve, but they have but a single kiss (spoilers). Evans doesn’t even get shirtless. Given the terrible plotting, the awful script, the lack of kissing, and absence of Evans’ nipples, this movie is a complete failure on all accounts.
Before We Go, inexplicably written by FOUR people (including Academy Award-winning writer Ronald Bass [Rain Man, Stepmom, Dangerous Minds]), is a rip-off of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, in which two people meet, talk a lot, and then separate. In this case, Evans plays a destitute (HA!) but talented trumpet player who is busking in Grand Central Station while avoiding a friend’s wedding in a hotel. Alice Eve is a rich white married woman from Boston who misses her last train home, has her purse stolen, and breaks her phone. They spend the night trying to raise the money to get Eve home to her husband (because of some sort of crisis), and to go to Evans’ wedding so he can face his ex.
Nobody knows what movie this is trying to be. Is it trying to be a low-key family-friendly After Hours, where Evans and Eve go through zany adventures to get money? Yes. Evans spends most of the movie trying to be a low-rent hero coming up with zany schemes that never work. At one point, they go to the wrong wedding, are mistaken for a band, and try to scam money by playing for the party. At another, they use “connections” to find out where the purse might be, and abscond with it in the middle of the night. At another, they wander into an all-night psychic parlor. None of these events are particularly original or entertaining.
Is it trying to be a conversational piece exploring the mysteries of life? Yes…well, except for the exploring the mysteries of life part. This has as much depth as a shallow grave. Half of their conversation is talking about what is already on the screen. “Hey! Remember, I just got my nose punched for you.” is the scintillating type of discussion they have for large parts of the movie. When they’re not talking about things that you just saw happen, they talk about their specific problems without going into specifics. For a large part of the movie, they hint at their problem, with the intent of creating mystery and intrigue, before filling in with specific details that fail to deepen either the characters or the situations. In fact, the details make everything that came before even more silly and pedestrian.
Is it an acting showcase? It tries to be, except Alice Eve isn’t that good at holding her own, and Evans plays a down-on-his-luck jazz trumpeter with all the charisma and charm of a wealthy frat boy. He can’t tone down his own personality enough to make anybody think he lives that life. He spends the whole movie mugging and smiling and charming, not once leading anybody to believe that he’s lived a hard knocked life filled with poverty and lost loves. This is a guy who hasn’t ever experienced a break up, nevertheless being a broke and broken-hearted soul who is pining after the same girl for years. Worst of all, he makes Alice Eve walk around New York City all night in a pair of high heeled boots.
So, what is this movie…you know, other than a boring waste of time? I don’t really know. It’s a nothing of a movie that shouldn’t exist. Yet it has four writers, 7 producers (including McG?!), and a budget of $3 million dollars?! THREE MILLION?! FOR THIS?! For a couple of white people walking around New York City and talking cute about nothing and not even getting naked? Fuck this movie, and Fuck Hollywood. Jesus fucking Christ. Just look at Chris Evans’ smug fucking face in the picture. There is absolutely nothing to see or listen to here, unless you want to see some rich white asshole mug at some white woman for 90 minutes. Go see ANYTHING else. ANYTHING. Go see Pixels, because it at least wanted to be something (ed’s note: don’t see Pixels). This…this wanted to be nothing. GAH. FUCK.