What Men Want review by Bobby Blakey
In 2000 Mel Gibson had one of many big hits with the comedy What Women Want. Now 18 years later we are getting a different take on the story with a gender switch in What Men Want starring Taraji P. Henson, Aldis Hodge, Richard Roundtree, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Tracy Morgan with Rock of Ages director Adam Shankman at the helm. Could this reimagining bring anything new to the table making it worth its existence or will it be a voice in your head you just can’t shake?
What Men Want follows Ali Davis, a successful sports agent who’s constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When Ali is passed up for a well-deserved promotion, she questions what else she needs to do to succeed in a man’s world... until she gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts! With her newfound power, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball superstar, but the lengths she has to go to will put her relationship with her best friends and a potential new love interest to the test. I am all for reboots and remakes if it serves a purpose to improve on the source material, but the idea of gender swamping for no reason other than just reimagining a film has always felt forced to me. While this film didn’t come off that way and actually works fine it just never fully steps out beyond pretty generic.
Henson is great in the lead with a great ability to bounce between the drama and silliness, but she is caught up in the ridiculousness of it all and can only do what she can with the material. The rest of the cast was fine with the exception of Erykah Badu whose role suffers from just too much. She herself was fine, but there was just something off with the character which I think was supposed to be the case, but it just didn’t work for me. Instead I just felt that outside her initial appearance that it slowed the film down and out of place. The humor is pretty hit and miss with some great moments, but sadly just as many forgettable ones.
I loved that they opted to go the R rated route for the comedy, but it just felt its only purpose was so they could drop as many F bombs as possible. I have no problem with cursing but it did nothing to drive the story or the personalities of the characters in any direction. The story itself is fine despite being pretty predictable, but I think the relationship side being on the back burner as opposed to her career made it feel empty. Where the original felt like it was a chance for the character to actually connect with women to become better this one focused mostly on her career as main focus and the rest being a byproduct.
I did enjoy the film for what it was and think it is one that will work for a lot of people especially for those that have never seen the original. Henson is a great lead and really does elevate this movie to higher level than it might have otherwise, but in the end it is pretty average at best.
In addition to the film this release includes bonus content including commentary, gag reel, deleted & extended scenes, and numerous featurettes taking you behind bringing this new take to life. Grab your copy of What Men Want available now on digital and then on Blu-ray and DVD on May 7th from Paramount Home Entertainment.