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Review: ‘In Like Flynn’ lacks the panache of its classic Hollywood star

(L-R) - Thomas Cocquerel and Ashlee Lollback in a scene from “In Like Flynn.” Credit: Blue Fox Enter
Thomas Cocquerel as Errol Flynn and Ashlee Lollback in the movie “In Like Flynn.”
(Blue Fox Entertainment)

Based on Errol Flynn’s own memoirs, this Australian action movie shows the Tasmanian actor as a real-life adventurer in the mold of the heroes he played on screen. But with its incoherent, episodic script, “In Like Flynn” lacks the worth of even a minor Flynn film.

This silly swashbuckler finds a pre-fame Flynn (Thomas Cocquerel) in Papua New Guinea in 1930, discovering gold as he leads wisecracking film director Joel Schwartz (Dan Fogler) through the jungle. He barely escapes with his life, but he decides to return for the treasure, braving the danger of the journey alongside friends Dook (William Moseley) and Rex (co-writer Corey Large), as well as surly sea captain Charlie (Clive Standen).

The script from Marc Furmie, Large and Steve M. Albert offers little context into who the surrounding characters are or who Flynn was before we meet him in the jungle. Cartoonish action and violence abound, with the tone leaping from goofy to earnest and back again with Flynn-like athleticism but none of his grace.

Directed by Russell Mulcahy, “In Like Flynn” has the future actor running away from spear-wielding warriors, escaping a shark and boxing a towering fighter, with Cocquerel providing adequate charm and physicality as the Golden Age star. Though it has moments of fun, “In Like Flynn” simply can’t seduce its audience like its subject could.

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‘In Like Flynn’

Rated: R, for some violence, drug use and a brief sexual reference

Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Playing: Starts Jan. 25, Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills; AMC Orange 30; AMC Ontario Mills 30

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