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Review: Shotgun Wedding (2023)

Shotgun Wedding (2023)

Directed by: Jason Moore

Premise: A wealthy couple (Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel) and their families gather on an island in the Philippines for a destination wedding. When pirates storm the wedding and take hostages it’s up to the couple to save the day.

What Works: Shotgun Wedding has a talented supporting cast who create unique and kooky characters. In particular, Steve Coulter and Jennifer Coolidge are amusing as the parents of the groom and Callie Hernandez and Desmin Borges standout as the maid of honor and the best man. Coulter and Coolidge play an awkward, long-married couple and they have great comic timing. Hernandez and Borges are a mismatched couple with some witty moments. It would have been a lot more fun to watch an ensemble comedy of manners with these actors instead of the failed Die Hard imitation that Shotgun Wedding aspires to be.

What Doesn’t: Shotgun Wedding is centrally a love story of two people who experience cold feet just moments before exchanging vows and are put into a life-or-death situation that clarifies their commitment to each other. That’s the idea anyway. Shotgun Wedding fails primarily because its lead couple is not convincing. Any successful romance must persuade the audience that this couple should be together and make the viewer want to see them work it out. Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel have no romantic chemistry and their relationship is crowded with red flags; it’s so obvious that these two are doomed that it’s hard to believe they would ever make it to a third date much less the altar. They’re also not particularly likable. Both bride and groom are dumb and self-centered. This quality is reflected in the rest of the characters. We’re supposed to be concerned for their wellbeing but a lot of these people are wealthy jerks who don’t engender any sympathy. Many story details don’t make sense. The pirates want the father of the bride to pay a ransom and he refuses only because if he did pay it the movie would be over. Shotgun Wedding is also lousily produced. The film has the flat and uninteresting look of a television sitcom. The style of the movie clashes with its subject matter and not in a way that’s ironic. Shotgun Wedding has a weird regard for its violence. A few people get shot and the wedding guests are held captive at gun point. The filmmakers never find a way to make this funny and at the same time there is no tension. The action scenes fail to impress and the humor is lame.

Disc extras: On Amazon Prime Video.

Bottom Line: Shotgun Wedding aspires to be an action comedy but it is neither exciting nor funny. It’s a terrible story full of terrible characters that is terribly produced.

Episode: #941 (March 26, 2023)