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Playing with Fire: Unraveling the Comically Twisted 'Role Play (2023) - Review

Dave (David Oyelowo) and Emma (Kaley Cuoco) have the seemingly perfect life - two kids, suburban house, good jobs - but they just want a little more fun. In fact, they need it. Looking to shake things up, they decide to ROLE PLAY. The rules are simple - they meet as strangers for one night to rekindle their relationship. While waiting for her 'stranger' at a hotel bar in New York, Emma attracts the attention of a mysterious older man (Bill Nighy), who stays to buy her and Dave drinks long into the night. 24 hours later, the man is found dead and a murder investigation is launched. Emma and Dave's role play game now becomes a case of mistaken identity that leads to Emma disappearing and Dave being questioned by the police for murder. As disguises unravel, Dave uncovers the unbelievable truth: his wife Emma is a professional assassin who has been living a double life for years.

Hello, fellow cinephiles and occasional movie-goers who accidentally clicked on this link while searching for cat videos! Welcome to another episode of me, Dan, using my endless wit to dissect films so you don't have to. Today's special? "Role Play", a film that promises a lot of pretending but, ironically, doesn't pretend to be more than it is.

Let's start with our stars: Kaley Cuoco, David Oyelowo, and Bill Nighy. Remember Kaley? Blonde, funny, and your go-to girl next door from "The Big Bang Theory". She's swapped her nerdy neighbors for a gun and an assassin alter-ego in this flick. David Oyelowo, that guy who brilliantly played Martin Luther King Jr. in "Selma", is now playing a suburban dad with a secret desire for... role play. And Bill Nighy, the epitome of British charm who graced us in "Love Actually", is here to add some mysterious older man vibes.

The plot reads like a mad-lib filled out by a group of tipsy writers. Dave and Emma, our suburban clichés, decide to spice up their life by pretending to be strangers. Classic. In a twist no one asked for, their innocent game leads to a murder investigation, mistaken identities, and the revelation that Emma is a professional assassin. I mean, who hasn't accidentally discovered their spouse's secret life as a hit-man?

What I liked: It's an easy watch. Like, really easy. You could probably bake a cake, learn a new language, and still keep up with the plot. Kaley and David bring their A-game, effortlessly blending humor and drama like a bartender mixing a cocktail you didn't order but still enjoy.

What I disliked: The trend of emasculating men in movies is more overdone than my grandma's roast beef. The story forces itself on you like an overeager salesman. Emma, a wanted killer, casually strolls into public places like she's on a leisurely walk in the park. The final showdown with the villain has all the excitement of watching paint dry.

Extra tidbit for Big Bang Theory fans: Emma's handler is named Raj. Coincidence? I think not. Maybe the writers were nostalgic, or maybe it's a secret ploy to reel in the sitcom's fans.

My verdict: 6.3/10. "Role Play" is like that weird snack you eat at a party - not great, not terrible, but you keep going back for more.

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