Streaming on Prime Video as of January 27
“Shotgun Wedding” is a movie that takes careful aim at Action and Comedy, and then it pulls the trigger and hits both targets. It has a silly little premise (Tropical Invitation-Only Wedding gets overrun by Ruthless Pirates). The two leads are able pull this off without any sweat, and they have a great supporting cast. This movie could be “Die Hard at the Destination Wedding”…
Darcy (played by Jennifer Lopez) and her future husband Tom (played by Josh Duhamel) are getting ready for a fantastic wedding. Both are off at a Resort Island in the tropical climate, with swaying palms and sandy beaches. Darcy could have had a better time if they had only eloped.
But Tom insisted on taking over all the plans for the wedding. He wanted everything to be the best. He is a ballplayer in a farm league MLB club, but he was recently cut. So he had a lot of time on his hands. He wants to prove to Darcy and to his family that he is capable of great things.
Darcy is getting more and more anxious about what is about to happen. All of the guests are family and few close friends. She is glad to see her feisty mother Renata (played by Sônia Braga). She has been divorced from Darcy’s father for a while now. But she still bitter feelings.
Darcy’s dad is there, Robert (played by Cheech Marin) – and he is a wealthy guy from Miami. He has also brought his personal yoga instructor, and his girlfriend, Harriet (played by D’Arcy Carden). Tom has his parents around and his mother, Carol (played by Jennifer Coolidge) is the one who always get attention. And there is her dad…
Everyone who was invited is there. Except at the last minute – there is another person to arrive. He was invited by Darcy’s father, Robert. It is a guy who was an ex-boyfriend to Darcy, named Sean (played by Lenny Kravitz). They were also engaged back then, right after they both left the Peace Corps.
But now Sean has moved beyond all of that, because he is a rich and famous business star. He, of course, needs to arrive in his own private helicopter. Tom is very troubled by this, because Sean used to date Darcy and was about to marry her long ago.
Tom is fixated on making all the plans come out exactly as he had planned them. But he forgot to include Darcy on any of the plans. She is feeling overwhelmed by everything. It’s not just one thing – it’s everything. She feels almost like she did back when she was about to marry Sean. She called that marriage off, just before it was going to happen. Tom has a terrible thought – What if Darcy is about to do the same thing this time?
They get into a very big argument, mostly about what the wedding plans mean to both of them. Darcy goes off on her own, but Tom is soon right behind her. Neither of them knows about the absolute final (and uninvited) guests at the Tropical Destination Wedding. It is whole ship full full of pirates and thugs.
And they know who they are looking for, and they know to get what they want. They raid the resort, and lock up all the staff. The owners of resort knew a good place to hide, so they evade the pirates. But everyone at the wedding is now held hostage by the band of odd-looking ruffians. Everyone except for Tom and Darcy, that is.
They soon are also captured, and they are soon to be delivered to the rest of the guests. But Tom and Darcy are able to make a getaway. First they are able to use a speedy golf cart. But being tied-up and unable to drive it, they need to get out before it goes over a cliff. They are being chased by these pirate goons. Then they are able to use a zip line to get away again. Oh, by the way, that nasty little hand grenade that Darcy took from one the first attackers could come in handy.
As it turns out, the pirates are not out for a quick robbery of money and jewels. They are looking for a big payout, and that payout is supposed to come from Robert. But Darcy’s dad tells them that he cannot get any money out to transfer the millions to them. He would need to be at home in his office. But there are some serious double-cross activities going on. Some of the pirates are not acting alone. They were hired by one (or more) of the wedding guests!
Tom is brought back to the hostage group. Darcy is still running free out on the island. She is well-armed and smartly-dressed. She will work to find a way to free the ones that she loves. And she does realize that she does love Tom. She wants to see him safe, along with all of her family and friends.
There just might be a couple of who are a little less endearing to Darcy. Mostly, they are on her ‘never invite to anything again’ list. That is because this whole thing was arranged to get several million out of her Dad. Darcy is determined to free her family and friends, and get back to the one she loves.
“Shotgun Wedding” might not be a leader for the next year’s Oscar ceremony. But that does not mean that Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel are without charms. They work well together in the movie and they have a few crazy days on the island. The other cast ranges between forgettable and delightful. The story moves along really well, and makes sense of most of the weird events.
Jennifer Lopez is the queen of romantic comedies, especially about weddings. She has a wonderful time getting from frightened bride to vengeful vigilante. Josh Duhamel carries his own with every interaction with Lopez. A few characters (and actors) have less to do. That would include Jennifer Coolidge, who should get better lines, and Lenny Kravitz. He dresses like a cool dude, but he needed more development.
“Shotgun Wedding”: it could be this movie has the Comedy and the Action to make it “Die Hard at the Destination Wedding”.
Streaming on Prime Video as of January 27
Directed by: Jason Moore
Written by: Mark Hammer
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Coolidge, Sônia Braga, Cheech Marin, D’Arcy Carden, Lenny Kravitz
Cinematography: Peter Deming
Edited by: Doc Crotzer
Music by: Pinar Toprak
Distributed by: Amazon Studios
Release date: January 27, 2023 (Prime Video streaming)
Length: 100 minutes
MPAA rating: R for language and some violence/bloody images
Genre: Action, Comedy