Trainwreck Review

  • Directing5.5
  • Writing5.5
  • Acting8

Judd Apatow's Trainwreck is exactly what its title suggests -- a disappointing disaster of creativity, with Apatow's loose direction failing to align with Amy Schumer's scattered script and energetic performance.


Knocked Up and The 40 Year-Old Virgin director Judd Apatow returns with Trainwreck, his latest R-rated comedy written by and starring comedian Amy Schumer. Trainwreck is an interesting failure for Apatow, highlighting his biggest strengths and weaknesses as a filmmaker, while also relying too much on celebrity cameos from guys like LeBron James and John Cena.

Trainwreck follows Amy (Amy Schumer) – a drunken middle-aged woman that loves sex but not the relationships that usually come with it. She dances to the beat of her own drum and her drum is a bitter and nasty concoction of drugs, alcohol and insecurity.

But she’s supposed to be funny, because she writes for a hip magazine and has major daddy issues, not to mention a perfectly normal sister (Brie Larson) that comes off as harsh as Amy, but only with a saner outer shell.

Judd Apatow‘s Trainwreck is a busy movie, yet it doesn’t say very much. Amy is your typical over-exaggerated Grinch-like character that falls for someone (Bill Hader) and slowly starts to see that changing her ways might not be such a bad idea after all.

This story is conveyed rather loudly and full of raunchy humor from comedian Amy Schumer who not only stars in the film, but also wrote the script for Mr. Apatow.

Schumer is a very funny lady, but she’s also an annoying one and one that makes it very hard to get behind her character in any single way. Amy (the character) is a bitch plain and simple and you realize that early on.

It’s sort of funny to begin with, but becomes unbearable as the film slogs along through its two hour running time. At least Apatow trimmed this one down from his usual two and a half hour running times, but Trainwreck still feels too loose and lacking of a central focus.

Apatow’s ability to direct comedy is still impressive, with most of the jokes relying on timing and camera placement and Apatow rarely misses a beat, but Schumer’s script spends way too much time improvising and cramming unneeded jokes into an already jam-packed film.

Bill Hader co-stars in the film, yet barely feels like an actual character when weighing in his actual screen time. And that’s because Apatow and Schumer spend way too much time on random side “adventures” that amount to absolutely nothing.

John Cena and LeBron James make some truly epic cameo appearances in the film and they’re both hilarious and almost make me wish that they tried their hand in comedy a little more often, yet saying that they stole the show from a comedian and other well-versed actors doesn’t help Trainwreck hold up on its own when your very own stars/comedians are getting out-shined by walk-on cameos.

The rest of Trainwreck functions as a passable blur, with occasional bright spots mixed among much mediocrity. Apatow’s direction can only go far, but soon Schumer’s lack of skill as a writer pokes its head and the film’s shallow intentions wear thin and become a chore to watch.

Hopefully Trainwreck is just an aftermath of two creative talents coming together, but not exactly clicking and not yet another sign of Apatow’s lack of quality as of late. This is 40 was a boring look at the upper class American life, while Funny People proved to be an interesting look at a fading star, only taking a little too much time to get to the point.

Trainwreck is a much quicker experience, but also one that’s primarily focused on Amy and nobody else. I believe that’s a direct result of Amy writing the script and not Apatow — who usually brings a lot of life to all of his characters.

Amy Schumer is a diamond in the rough, occasionally providing some great laughs, but mostly spending way too much time trying really hard to be funny, but coming across as anything but.

Trainwreck is the perfect title for the film, reminding us that it is possible to team up two creative funny forces and still end up with a film that derails and crashes into failure, with only John Cena and LeBron James surviving the destructive aftermath.

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