Ryan Reynolds might be known for lacing the vast majority of his onscreen performances with a rich dose of self-deprecating humor, but the Deadpool star hasn’t actually featured in an out-and-out comedy for close to a decade. While he’s made uncredited cameo appearances in Seth McFarlane’s Ted and A Million Ways to Die in the West, you’d have to go back to 2011’s The Change-Up to find his last comedy vehicle.
Directed by Wedding Crashers‘ David Dobkin, The Change-Up puts an R-rated spin on the body-swap formula as Reynolds’ hedonistic man-child Mitch ends up trading lives and identities with his longtime best friend Dave, with Jason Bateman finding himself in familiar territory as the straight man in a foul-mouthed studio comedy.
With that kind of talent both in front and behind of the camera, as well as a script from The Hangover’s Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, The Change-Up had the potential to be the year’s breakout comedy success. However, besides the novelty of seeing Reynolds and Bateman riff on each other’s established personas, the movie was a whole lot less than the sum of its undeniably talented parts and ended up painfully lacking in both originality and laughs.
It didn’t go down particularly well with either critics or audiences, and only made a little over $75 million at the box office on a $52 million budget, while limping towards a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 25%. However, with Ryan Reynolds having cemented his position at the top of the Hollywood A-list over the last few years, fans will no doubt be rushing to check out The Change-Up when it hits HBO Max next month on August 1st, especially when the actor’s jam-packed schedule over the next few years means that it’ll be a while yet before we see him make a full-blown return to comedy.