What happens when two men get into trouble? The answer is revealed in Ricky Gervais’ new comedy ‘Special Correspondents’. The premise involving a lie that completely gets out of hand has been done in a comedy before; but rarely done like this. Instead, the film delves into satire dealing with political events and even a little jab at pop culture for a brief moment. I have a feeling that Rotten Tomatoes and I are on a bit of a disagreement with films like ‘Vacation’, ‘Suicide Squad’, and ‘Ratchet & Clank; ‘Special Correspondents’ is one of those films, and it is much clever than it seems to be.
The story involves two buddies named Frank Bonneville (Eric Bana) and Ian Finch (Gervais) who have to lie to their boss (Kevin Pollack) when Finch accidentally throws away their passports to Ecuador in order for Bonneville to report all the turmoil that is happening in that country. What are two journalists to do, right? Luckily, Finch happens to be a good technical adviser and uses his job to his advantage as they set up shop in a cafe run by a Spanish couple named Brigida (America Ferrera) and Domingo (Raul Castillo), who are very kindly in their ways, yet are clueless about most of American culture. Their plan goes well, despite the fact that everything around them is just noisy and very hard to control, (which adds to great comedic effect) until a ransom plot gets out of control as they have to keep the lie going and have to take the actual trip to Ecuador.
I’m not going to lie when I say that ‘Special Correspondents’ is the best film that Netflix has to offer. There is a brilliance in the writing of Gervais. (who seems to have struck comedic gold with this film) If you love the comedian, you will most likely laugh at the humor present in this film. If you watch ‘The Invention of Lying’, the premise is there, but the laughs run off the track when its true agenda comes crashing through. With this film, the laughs are consistent and deal with relevant topics involving war, fame, (the scenes with Vera Farmiga as Finch’s selfish wife add to the satire) and what it takes to succeed in this very hectic world where jobs are on the line, and the economy is decreasing. I respect ‘Special Correspondents’ for its effort to tackle on these issues.
Comedy is really good when it goes for the gold, and ‘Special Correspondents’ is an example of what it takes to be a great comedy. I have never expected a film like this to be so good, especially considering that this is one from Netflix. If you want to see a great film that pulls away from the rest of 2016’s lineup, I recommend this one. I don’t guarantee you will like this film as much as I did, but I can tell you that it treads where most comedies never dare to tread.