Woody Allen might have done well to end his expatriate adventure in London with last year's intriguing morality tale Match Point. This alleged return to comedy -- starring Point's nubile Scarlett Johansson as a naive American journalism student, Allen himself as the phobia-rattled magician who poses as her father, and Hugh Jackman as a dashing English nobleman who may be a serial killer -- is so flat, dull, and off-form that its seems to have been conceived in a fog. When Allen's famously neurotic one-liners start to bomb, there's real trouble, and Woody's performance here comes off as stammering self-parody: He's a pent-up bundle of tics and quirks so irritating that, halfway through, you may feel like ending the misery -- his and yours. With Deadwood's Ian McShane as a recently deceased London newspaper legend who, from beyond the grave, puts the young heroine onto the story of a lifetime.
Woody AllenScarlett Johansson, Ian McShane, Hugh Jackman, Woody Allen, Jim Dunk, Romola Garai, Robyn Kerr, Kevin McNally, James Nesbitt, Colin SalmonWoody AllenLetty Aronson, Gareth WileyFocus Features