The Family Fang

Directed by Jason Bateman, 2016


Who’d have performance artists for parents?

Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman are siblings who as children were roped into hit-and-miss public stunts devised by dad Christopher Walken and mum Maryann Plunkett but who have long since grown up and grown sick of their supporting roles.

So when their now-senior parents disappear under seemingly violent circumstances, is it just another prank or a case of the artists who cried wolf?

As uncannily youthful as Kidman and Bateman are, their casting here is a stretch, and there is a bigger problem: having raised some intriguing questions about parental and artistic responsibility, second-time director Bateman, adapting Kevin Wilson’s novel, leaves them dangling.

Instead we get a twisty final act as hollow and artistically unsatisfying as one of the Fangs’ failed happenings.

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