The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film, Workplace Comedy, Screwball Comedy  |   Release Date - Aug 24, 2001 (USA)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - Germany , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Woody Allen's recent comedies have shown a tendency to be less substantial than past Oscar winners like his unforgettable Annie Hall or the delectable Bullets Over Broadway, but Allen usually delivers some laughs and keeps things moving along. Sadly, that is not the case with this lazy, scattershot effort that may represent the prolific writer/director/actor at his most desperate. Hanging everything on a plot that wouldn't even suffice for an episode of the weakest TV program imaginable, Allen's results are near-deadly, with scenes that have characters spouting all sorts of would-be witty gibberish that never feels fresh. In fact, it doesn't even feel like Woody Allen. The unceremonious casting of Helen Hunt is an even bigger problem, as her unpleasant, unmotivated performance drags down any possible effectiveness in the romantic angle. Her scenes with Allen are feeble and dull, and they may as well be working off blue screens due to their utter lack of chemistry with each other. Only Charlize Theron, in a small role as one of the director's archetypal floozies, seems to be having any fun, but chances are that audiences won't be on her wavelength.