Shotgun Wedding Review

We review Shotgun Wedding, the action-comedy romance, starring Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Cheech Marin, and more.

Plot: Darcy and Tom gather their lovable but very opinionated families for the ultimate destination wedding just as the couple begins to get cold feet. And if that wasn’t enough of a threat to the celebration, suddenly everyone’s lives are in danger when the entire party is taken hostage. “’Til Death Do Us Part” takes on a whole new meaning in this hilarious, adrenaline-fueled adventure as Darcy and Tom must save their loved ones—if they don’t kill each other first.

Review: Romantic comedies are not the usual fare we review here at, but we are not heartless monsters. Many romantic comedies have bucked the formula of cliche-ridden movies to rise above the rest. My favorites are movies that blend action with romance and a fair amount of humor, like Romancing the Stone and Maverick. The new Prime Video release Shotgun Wedding is the latest attempt at blending action, romance, and humor. Starring Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel, two veterans of many rom-coms and action movies, Shotgun Wedding is a decent attempt at blending gunplay and foreplay that succeeds thanks to an ensemble cast full of funny people who use the tropical setting to deliver some laughs along with the bloodshed.

Shotgun Wedding has a familiar premise: a couple having a destination wedding must contend with quirky family members and unexpected surprises that threaten to turn their big day into a big disaster. The twists start out simply enough: instead of a bridezilla, we have a groomzilla in Tom (Josh Duhamel). We have the arrival of Sean (Lenny Kravitz), Darcy’s (Jennifer Lopez) ex, and the favorite of her father, Robert (Cheech Marin). Robert arrives with his much younger girlfriend, Harriet (D’Arcy Carden), which angers Darcy’s mother, Renata (Sonia Braga). There is the loud-mouthed mother of the groom, Carol (Jennifer Coolidge), and her husband Larry (Steve Coulter), Darcy’s sister Jamie (Callie Hernandez), and Tom’s best friend Ricky (Desmin Borges). Throw in the disconnect growing between Darcy and Tom about the wedding itself, and you have all the components of a formulaic rom-com. But, that is where Shotgun Wedding adds pirates.

Set in the Phillippines, the remote island is soon besieged by pirates looking to rob the wedding guests and takes them all hostage, leaving just Darcy and Tom to save the day. The now bickering couple must band together despite their relationship beginning to fall apart, and that is where the movie finally clicks. Darcy, a talented attorney, has a fear of blood which makes her pass out, while Tom, a baseball player who never made the big leagues, cannot quite get out of his own way. As they accidentally dispatch pirates violently, the chemistry between Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel comes into play. Both actors are much funnier than they are given credit for and easily play off each other. It helps that they are willing to go the extra mile with the jokes here, which are not watered down in any way. Shotgun Wedding does not take full advantage of its R-rating, but by not being reduced to a PG-13, the movie has a bit more of an edge that helps it immensely.

While Lopez and Duhamel perform the majority of the action, the rest of the cast spends the running time cracking jokes with one another. D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place, Barry) and recent Golden Globe winner Jennifer Coolidge are the standouts in the cast, which also has Cheech Marin, Sonia Braga, and Steve Coulter delivering some memorable moments. Lenny Kravitz is also very good in a role that ended up being more significant than I expected, based on the trailers. Selena Tan is also a breakout as Marge, owner of the island resort, and will undoubtedly become a quick favorite of audiences. Everyone has at least a couple of very funny moments culminating in an unexpected direction for the story. As a romantic comedy and an action flick, Shotgun Wedding could have done more with some of the sequences, but it does deliver on what the trailers promise.

Directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) and written by Mark Hammer, Shotgun Wedding could have used a little bit more than what we got, especially when it comes to what the trailers show. I appreciate that this is not a sanitized movie for broad audiences and doesn’t shy away from blood and burns, but I would have liked it if it pushed the envelope a little more than it did. The story keeps things moving, but it never digs into the supporting characters as much as it could have. Nevertheless, seeing Jennifer Coolidge with the automatic unloading of a hail of bullets on a tropical island is worth the price of admission. The movie was clearly a blast for the cast to make, which comes through in the finished product.

Shotgun Wedding would have been a modest box office hit in the pre-COVID era but works now as an ideal streaming premiere. If this movie proves anything, some may think that a Lethal Weapon-Esque remake led by Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel would not be a disaster. This movie is fun and upends the expected romantic comedy conventions to deliver a movie that will appeal to guys and gals alike. I would have liked the action to be a bit more violent and the set pieces a little larger, but I enjoyed Shotgun Wedding for what it is. You will laugh at the funny moments and cringe at some of the kills, but overall you will have more fun with this movie than you would at an actual wedding.


About the Author

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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.