TMN Movie Review: "The Love Punch"

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A divorced couple scheme to recover the retirement money that was stolen from them.
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Rating: PG-13
Length: 94 minutes
Release Date: May 23, 2014
Directed by: Joel Hopkins
Genre: Comedy

"The Love Punch" is an endearing coming-of-middle-age story about a divorced couple who must scheme together to recover their stolen retirement fund. This 2013 film has captivated audiences around the world and earned multiple accolades from critics. Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson portray Richard and Kate, the film's leading couple whose relationship has fizzled out after years of failed compromises. When Richard's company falls under federal investigation, all their assets are frozen, including the retirement fund the former couple planned on sharing. In spite of their reluctance to spend so much time together, Richard and Kate must join forces to investigate the sudden disappearance of their nest egg.

Both Richard and Kate begin to tail Richard's former boss on his lavish escapades. When the federal investigation surrounding his company comes closing in, Richard's boss leaves the country in an attempt to escape responsibility. Both Richard and Kate follow him on a whim to figure out exactly what will become of the pension fund they have been counting on all these years. Once they arrive, they discover that he is planning on spending a sizable chunk of money on a massive diamond engagement ring and wedding for a beautiful French bride. Richard and Kate are forced to pose as Texans living the high life in an attempt to get closer to the couple. It doesn't take long to discover that the executive is every bit as callous as the media rumors paint him to be, and it's clear he has absolutely no intention of doing right by his former employees to ensure that they get fair compensation for all their hard work.

Distraught and furious, Richard and Kate cook up a plan to get closer to the man's fiancée. Kate vows to befriend the young and beautiful woman so they can steal her $10.8 million diamond engagement ring and cash in on what they are rightfully owed. Although Richard is at first hesitant to indulge in such a risky and illegal scheme, he eventually realizes that no one else is going to make things right if they don't take matters into their own hands. What ensues is a hilarious, heartwarming journey that will change Richard and Kate forever.

Brosnan and Thompson shine in this nostalgic thrill ride and fill their roles perfectly. Brosnan portrays the reckless career man itching for early retirement with pitch-perfect precision. Thompson is the perfect deadpan personality to act as a foil during Brosnan's more eccentric scenes. The chemistry between the two characters is palpable even though it's been years since they bowed out of their marriage. The attempted heist begins to dredge up old feelings that make them question both how they ended up together and how they ever fell apart. The supporting cast is equally impressive, featuring Louise Bourgoin as the beautiful young bride and Timothy Spall as Jerry, an old friend of Richard's who has some shady connections.

As the film progresses, what begins as a bitter and vengeful escapade turns into something more. Richard and Kate meld into their new identities with unexpected commitment. The former couple begins to see that they really are made for each other once all the complexities of their old lives are stripped away. Trapped in an exotic French resort with completely new identities and none of the baggage they had back home, they begin to wonder if they stand a chance at rekindling their old romance as well as saving their golden years. Unfortunately for both of them, the heist doesn't go as planned at all and all the turmoil prevents them from continuing to explore their renewed feelings for one another. Things get especially complicated when Jerry is enlisted to help carry out the heist. His presence introduces a whole new set of problems for Richard and Kate to contend with, and the aspiring retirees find themselves much deeper into the underworld of crime than they ever imagined.

"The Love Punch" is surprisingly action packed, featuring car chases, close calls and more than enough international intrigue to satisfy Brosnan's loyal fan base. Richard may not be spy material, but his elaborate schemes and failed attempts prove hilariously entertaining nonetheless. Somehow, director Joel Hopkins manages to avoid cheesy clichés in this outrageous caper film. The acting from both Thompson and Brosnan is seamless and completely believable, setting exactly the right tone for this zany and sincere summer comedy. From start to finish, there is not a dull moment to be had in "The Love Punch," making it a must-see film for anyone who enjoys a fresh romantic comedy.