True Memoirs of an International Assassin ★★

Kevin James is perhaps the least aggravating of the Happy Madison stable these days, mostly because unlike most of them he really does seem to give a fuck that the movies he makes be the product of actual effort. I mean, we all mock Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Zookeeper but James is willing to do really painful pratfalls in those flicks, because he really does seem to give a shit. Granted, that doesn't make those movies - or this one - good. But they're at least tolerable in a way that the Ridiculous Sixes and Fathers of the Year are never going to be.

Anyway, "tolerable" is about where this one checks out, with a plot that is far too convoluted for a story this silly and doesn't have the courage to follow through on what should be its core premise (most of us would get killed if we had to be action heroes), right up to letting Kevin James, who is a fat dude in his fifties, do for-real action hero stuff in the film's climax. It feels like the worst kind of wish fulfillment rather than an actual story, and that's a shame because James is a genuinely engaging screen presence, and Zulay Henao is a great buttkicker/love interest, and Andy Garcia looks like he's having a blast, as does Kim Coates. Everybody in this movie clearly wanted people to enjoy this movie, and that sucks, because this isn't a very enjoyable or memorable film.

(oh, god, if I commit to watching every Netflix Original I have like half a dozen Happy Madison originals to go)