Critical flop starring Kristen Bell enjoys shock revival on Netflix

Kristen Bell comedy received mixed reviews and was a box office bomb

Louis Chilton
Wednesday 03 January 2024 09:14 GMT
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Queenpins trailer

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A commercially and critically unsuccessful movie from 2021 is enjoying an unlikely resurgence on streaming platform Netflix.

Queenpins, a comedy written and directed by Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, is currently sitting at No 1 in Netflix’s film charts, ahead of such high-profile original films as Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget and Rebel Moon.

Released just over two years ago, Queenpins received mixed reviews from critics, and has a “rotten” score of 48 per cent on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.

The film was also described as a box office bomb, having grossed just $1.2m against a production budget of around $20m.

Queenpins follows a bored and directionless suburban woman, played by Kristen Bell, and her best friend JoJo, played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste, who launch an illegal – and highly profitable – counterfit coupin racket.

The film also stars Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell), Vince Vaughn (Dodgeball) and Joel McHale, best known for his role in the sitcom Community.

In a one-and-a-half star review for news.com.au, around the film’s release, critic Wenlei Ma described the film as “a tangled mess of a nonsensical movie where none of the threads come together with any satisfaction” and “a waste of a really intriguing story”.

Queenpins feels like three different movies and none of them are good, and none of them are funny,” they added.

However, while other critics also dismissed the film, including the Austin Chronicle’s Kimberley Jones and Decider’s John Serba, reactions from viewers have been decidedly more positive, with the film earning a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 82 two per cent.

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Some viewers shared their thoughts about the film on social media, amid its Netflix resurgence.

Kristen Bell in ‘Queenpins'
Kristen Bell in ‘Queenpins' (2021 Eros International, PLC)

Queenpins on Netflix is funny as hell. Kristen Bell is a gem,” one person wrote on X/Twitter.

“QUEENPINS NUMBER ONE MOVIE IN THE WORLD GUYS,” another enthusiastic fan of the movie wrote. “QUEENPIN UNIVERSE BABYYYY QUEENPIN fans rise up we did it, haters gonna hate!”

Someone else wrote that the film was “Very funny, easy going watch with the always entertaining Vince Vaughan and Kristen Bell.”

Sitting in second place on the Netflix film charts is the children’s animation Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, a sequel to the hit stop-motion film Chicken Run.

In the wake of Dawn of the Nugget’s debut, the film claimed an unexpected record on Rotten Tomatoes, becoming the highest-rated feature film produced by Aardman, according to audiences.

Aardman is a British studio known for its stop-motion animations, including the Wallace and Gromit franchise, and the sewer rat comedy Flushed Away.

Queenpins is available to stream on Netflix now.

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