What a disheartening spectacle we have in Dinner for Schmucks, the latest comedy since April’s Date Night to squander Steve Carell’s impeccable timing and frantic, Clouseau-like cluelessness.
For better and more often worse, we see in Barry, his latest on-screen buffoon, a character reminiscent of Michael Scott, the deluded desk jockey he plays on NBC’s The Office. Nearly paralyzed by his own stupidity, hopelessly oblivious in every aspect of his modest existence, Barry is a tragic figure, in part because of the pain behind his manic grin, and in part because he’s so easy to despise.
If J.J. Abrams aimed to boldly go where no man has gone before with Star Trek, his long-anticipated franchise reboot that traces Capt. James T. Kirk’s roots back to his wildly undisciplined youth, give the man some credit. While there’s no denying that his contribution to the cult creation of the late Gene Roddenberry is cleverly executed, this latest Star Trek sometimes feels more like a winking homage than a new beginning.