Steve Coogan, Neve Campbell and Taylor Russell star in Hot Air, that’s available on demand now – and here’s our review.

Didn’t quite work for me, this one. Hot Air sees Steve Coogan (who also serves as executive producer) as a New York-based shock jock Lionel McComb, delivering very right wing diatribes in the hope of boosting ratings, and maintaining his infamy. Across town, his one-time colleague is emerging from his shadow, and taking his audience. And in the midst of it all is a plot about this narcissistic man suddenly finding himself playing host to his 16-year-old niece.

Coogan has long backed independent cinema, and here, he’s paired with director Frank Coraci, who’s best known for his Adam Sandler collaborations. What’s surprising is that they’ve fashioned a film with such blunt teeth. Coogan’s shock-jock tirades – and perhaps this is a sign of the times – don’t really feel shocking, and his relatively relaxed delivery of them is an interesting character choice that didn’t work for me. On better form is Taylor Russell as his niece, Tess, who more than holds her own in challenging the ideas that McComb bases his career on.

Neve Campbell offers solid support, but ultimately it’s unfortunate that Hot Air arrives a few months after Late Night – starring Emma Thompson – covered some of this ground with more impact. Neither film edges anywhere near must-see, but there’s more pulse and tempo to Late Night, and Hot Air feels a far more forgettable, relaxed traipse through familiar ideas, without enough of a pulse of its own.

 

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