By Mike DeMoya
Now that Special Correspondents has finally aired on Netflix; critics and audiences alike can look back at the impact or lack of luster the Ricky Gervais film had at its premier in the Tribeca Film Festival in contrast to the approaching responses from the streaming audiences.
Ricky Gervais seems to be the butt of irony when it comes to being held to a standard on the way of interpreting his character. Critics expected the same ruthless funny man from the office, but weren’t prepared for the tail between his legs type of funny man. Gervais blissfully plays off of Eric Bana’s blustering journalist character, Frank Bonnerville.
The two actors sought out to make a praiseworthy revival of the french comedy, “Envoyés Trés Spéciaux” based on a swank radio journalist and a hapless technician, who are sent to cover a war story in Ecuador. But the technician, played by Ricky, mistakenly throws away their passports stranding them in the states with only hours left to call in for their first report from inside the Ecuadorian borders. The two decide to act/play out a charade: manipulating and faking news reports that become all too believable.
Some may find that the real problems with the film start with its out-of-date idea of an investigative journalist working for a radio station that seems to be the main influencer in a world of visual learners, but if streaming audiences receive the story as the TFF audience did, the comedy is above just another Ricky Gervais film with it’s overdone and witty characters.
Regardless of what others are so critically aware of within Special Correspondents, the film got some ha-ha’s out of the audiences. When two men’s egos are measured at two extremes, they make for a comedy duo that is strong enough to make licking cocaine off a sweat soaked envelope, the equivalent to “Popeye and Spinach.”