Friday, January 31, 2020

Netflix Movie Review “Changeland”

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: R
Run time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

After Brandon (Seth Green) suspects his wife is cheating on him, he takes his anniversary trip alone, where he meets up with friend, Dan (Breckin Meyer). As the two travel Thailand, they discover life can offer more than they are aware.

The movie begins with an unfeeling Brandon flying to Dubai where he meets up with Dan, whom he hasn’t seen in a while. Brandon tells Dan he suspects his wife, Vanessa, (who you never meet) is cheating on him and Dan asks Brandon if he plans to fight for the relationship.

While in Thailand, Brandon does not enjoy the incredible experiences and scenery that surround him. All he is focused on is his marriage ending. He and Dan tour Thailand and discuss the situation. Brandon is not sure how he would fight for the marriage; and he does not want to get a divorce. Dan tells Brandon he never really liked Vanessa because of the way she treated him and Brandon.

Dan and Brandon continue to have incredible experiences, travel to amazing places and meet interesting people; through most of this, Brandon is very uptight.

On a coral tour, they meet Ian (Macaulay Culkin) who was originally from South Dakota, but he did not want the life that was offered there, so decided to move to Thailand. Brandon asks him “don’t you miss your life?” Ian replies, “How can I miss a life when I’m busy living it.”

Despite encouragement from Ian and others, Brandon is still very scared of taking chances and won’t do things like jump off an embankment into the water or explore a cave that’s under a waterfall. He remains unhappy for most of the trip. He wonders what he is doing there and at one point tells Dan he wants to go home.

Dan tells Brandon they are going to a bar with Ian where they run into a couple tour guides (Clare Grant and Brenda Song) from one of their tours. Some crazy things happen while they are in the bar. Will Brandon’s begin to appreciate Thailand? Will he get back together with his wife?

OK, let me start with the positive. This movie had a very cool message about being present, enjoying yourself and appreciating what you have. It was actually shot in Thailand and the scenery is spectacular. However, this is a slow movie with little conflict that didn’t keep me wondering what was going to happen. Despite its star-studded cast, ‘Changeland’ fell flat. It’s so slow, you kind of forget there’s conflict at all and it’s more about a guy moping around Thailand. It’s billed as a comedy, but it is not that funny. I would not recommend it. Two thumbs down. Sorry, Kevin McCallister.

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