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11/11/07

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The Wendell Baker Story starts off with a lot of promise. Written, directed (co-directed by Andrew Wilson) and starring Luke Wilson; it's a film about a low-level con-artist who gets by on his charm and wit, which is limited compared to what he believes. The first act of the film itself is full of charm, fun dialogue, it's fast-moving, and well made; and had me believing that the critics were wrong and that Luke had created a wonderful film.

But once Wendell is busted and sent to prison the film starts to lose a lot of that charm, he loses his edge and the film loses its. Once Wendell is parolled and sent to a crooked old-folks home, run by Owen Wilson, much of what the film had originally going for it has disappeared. Owen's character aims to set-up Wendell to take the fall for his misdeeds. While Wendell is soley-focused on rekindling his relationship with Eva Mendes, whose taken up with Will Ferrell in a fun, small role.

Two of the old guys played by Harry Dean Stanton and Seymour Cassel, like Wendell and try to warn him and get him to help save their fellow seniors; have a lot of fun with their roles. But Owen and Eddie Griffin as the bad guys seem to be mailing-it-in, and they drag the film down. The artistic quality of the film drops in quality as well.

It almost seems like two different films spliced together. If the whole film had matched the first thirty minutes, it could have been something special.


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