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 might 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 begin 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 might feel like ending the misery his and yours. It also features 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. Bill Gallo
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