Ben Stiller reprises his role as a former model in a throwaway but amusing sequel
Make It Hot
By and large, r&b is a sick place: the preserve of doe-eyed young 'talent' squired, remixed, and generally rapped upon by Svengali producers ...
We should, therefore, sing hosannas at the arrival of 18-year-old Nicole, the first protigie of Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott to appear on her Gold Mind label. Not only is Nicole Svengali'd by a woman - thus sidestepping any casting couch vibes - it's the woman who, along with her programmer Timbaland, has made some of the most groundbreaking hip-hop of the late-'90s.
Pity then, that 'make it hot' is merely what Missy said to the waitress when she and Tim were ordering pie and coffee, having sewn up a handful of definitive tracks, leaving the bulk to the blandest whims of lesser producers. 'Make It Hot', the single, is pure Missy and Tim: pointed beats, tricksy instrumentation, a singular rap by Missy, and a cajoling, gymnastic vocal from Nicole. 'Seventeen', meanwhile, is the follow-up to Missy's ballsy intro ("If you don't like this record... dial 1-800-KISS-MY-BUTT!"), a classic teen plea ("Call me!") gone baaad.
These are two tunes that bust the R&B envelope wide open. Most of the rest are content to keep that envelope bulging with schmaltzy arrangements that do Nicole's - and Missy's - talents no credit. A lukewarm
It’s not quite the superhero film revolution we were promised, but it sure as hell is entertaining
Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
Just as ridiculous as the 1991 original, but in all the wrong ways
The 'Oscar-bait' drama fails to fully translate the emotional weight from page to screen