We've got 10 days to go until the third installment of Bridget Jones and her chaotic existance romps its way onto screens around the globe, and while we've all been quietly hoping for a return to OG form for the bonkers Brit, the critical consensus seems to be a resounding blue soup style "eh."
Bridget Jones's Baby doesn't entirely fall off the treadmill and land with an ungraceful splat though, in fact in comparison to 2004's The Edge of Reason, it seems to be a great improvement. However, those rooting for Jones's comeback to deliver more than a baby and some heartfelt chuckles might leave theaters a tad disappointed — well, according to the critic review round-up below, anyway:
1. The Hollywood Reporter throws serious shade
Leslie Felperin's review for THR leaves little hope for the third installment, describing Zellweger as dead behind the eyes, her co-stars as squirming and failing to "fill the vacuum." Ouch.
If nothing else, 'Bridget Jones’s Baby' can bask in the glory of being a less dismal than usual reboot of an aging franchise. It’s unquestionably more fun than, say, the last 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' film. But it isn’t as thoughtful as, for instance, 'Creed' or even as joyfully knockabout as 'Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.' There are crisply folded lines, and pleasingly peppery performances from the supporting cast especially, but where its beating heart should be there is a splinter of ice, the sense that no one involved is really doing this for that much love. It’s like a high school reunion where everyone attending seems to be secretly bearing a grudge that everyone else bullied them back in the day, but they’re too proud not to attend.
- It Was Time To Go Away And Grow Up A Bit: Renée Zellweger Opens Up About Her Hollywood Hiatus
- First Look at Renee Zellweger In Bridget Jones' Baby Is as Adorable as You'd Hoped
- Colin Firth Displays Dramatic Weight Loss On Cannes Red Carpet
2. The Telegraph played it safe
While The Telegraph's Tim Robey's review isn't exactly enthusiastic, it's not wholly negative either. He summarizes that despite there being little in the way of the comical moments we missed from its predecessor The Edge of Reason, Zellweger is back on form.
Bridget's back in a comeback that you root for, even while it’s wobbling and occasionally falling in the mud. But goodwill gets it home.
3. It was all giggles for The Wrap
On the flip-side, Jason Solomons writes for The Wrap that he found its high jinx very amusing, with the movie providing a much needed reminder of how "polished and potent a comic recipe can be."
I laughed plenty and heartily amid the procession of British pop hits (Ed Sheeran, Years and Years, Ellie Goulding) and litany of London locations new and old (Borough Market, Greenwich Park, King’s Cross’s Granary Square fountains, the former Olympic Swimming Pool and even Highbury Fields, where Hugh Grant kissed Andie MacDowell all those years ago).
4. Daily Mail was kind of amused
Brian Viner of the Daily Mail seems a little on the fence, drawing attention to Bridget's typical flings, weight-gain and clumsiness rather than penning an in-depth review. His 23-year-old daughter thoroughly enjoyed the movie though, so there is that — and there's this positive endnote:
The performances are all terrific. It’s nice to see Jim Broadbent and Gemma Jones back as Bridget’s parents, and Sarah Solemani gives a delightful turn as a TV presenter. As for Zellweger, whose looks and love life have been subjected to even more intense scrutiny than Bridget’s over the years, she rises admirably to the challenge of playing her most famous character in middle age.
5. Variety feels it fills a hole
A far cry from "the comic master-class" Zellweger gave in the first movie, Variety's Catherine Bray describes the pieces as a mixed bag consisting of limp moments and culturally on-point one-liners, concluding:
That this is a song sung in a slightly more pensive, even at times melancholy, key than the first parts of the trilogy shouldn’t hurt the film’s appeal at the box office. Distributors will face little challenge in presenting it as a knockabout romp starring a beloved female lead, of which there are still not nearly enough to sate demand.
6. The Guardian gives a back-handed compliment
A little more optimistic than the rest, Peter Bradshaw emphasizes the elevation of performances and throws shade toward the media frenzy over Zellweger's face —because who cares?
What sealed the deal for me – by a whisker – was the gigantic physical comedy that Dempsey, Zellweger and Firth uncorked as they try to get through the hospital revolving door as Bridget is about to give birth, the traditional romcom rush to the airport having been re-invented for this maternal drama. This is the best way to end what can only can be described as the Bridget Jones franchise: something resembling a likable, good-natured one-off TV holiday special.
7. The Mirror liked it but IDK why ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
One of the most positive "reviews" of the bunch, David Edwards from The Mirror gives little in the way of reasoning why he likes the movie, simply stating:
"Note to self: watch at all costs."
We might need a little more persuasion than that, Dave.
That said though, I shall be hauling ass to the theater to make my own decision about Bridget Jones's Baby — hopefully without the crippling cringe that happened shortly after this moment:
Are you hyped for Bridget Jones's Baby, regardless of the critics?