SYNOPSIS: Dave (David Oyelowo) and Emma (Kaley Cuoco) have the seemingly perfect life - two kids, suburban house, good jobs - but they just want a little more fun. In fact, they need it. Looking to shake things up, they decide to ROLE PLAY. The rules are simple - they meet as strangers for one night to rekindle their relationship. While waiting for her 'stranger' at a hotel bar in New York, Emma attracts the attention of a mysterious older man (Bill Nighy), who stays to buy her and Dave drinks long into the night. 24 hours later, the man is found dead and a murder investigation is launched. Emma and Dave's role play game now becomes a case of mistaken identity that leads to Emma disappearing and Dave being questioned by the police for murder. As disguises unravel, Dave uncovers the unbelievable truth: his wife Emma is a professional assassin who has been living a double life for years.


Streaming platforms have fast turned into dumping grounds for generic, forgettable movies even though it more than often features familiar movie, television stars and decent production values.

Role Play stars Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) and David Oyelowo (Selma) as a suburban New Jersey married couple who decides to spice up their marriage with a little role play in a fancy hotel.

As it turned out, Emma (Cuoco) the mother of two kids is no ordinary woman. She is a contract killer and her supposed supervisor, Raj (Rudi Dharmalingam) is her handler. For whatever reasons, there’s a bounty on Emma’s head and another contract killer, Bob Kitterman (Bill Nighy) wants her dead before even Emma and Dave (Oyelowo) begins their “role play” at the hotel bar.

Role Play unfortunately copies and paste from many other espionage theme movies liked Mr and Mrs Smith, The Long Kiss Goodnight and many more but fails to make it any better or enjoyable. The promised premise of a clever satire of an assassin living a dual life is abandoned after the first act (which is kind of comical especially with the presence of Nighy). Making things worse, the narrative can’t really make up its mind to be a comedy or a serious action thriller.

With the appearance of Gwen Carver (Connie Nielsen), the leader from Emma’s killer organisation who wants her back on the team, the movie transformed itself into an unconvincingly dull, talky spy movie for the third act with Emma and Dave discussing their problematic marriage and Carver, a one dimensional villain trying to convince Emma into killing Dave.

There’s an obligatory brief shootout, car chase and some hand to hand combat but nothing that makes Kaley Cuoco stands out as the next female action heroine. The only saving grace is the fresh pairing of Cuoco with Oyelowo that at least makes the whole viewing experience bearable.

Well as mentioned, Role Play is just another generic streaming actioner, so uninspiring, so formulaic.


Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Action/Comedy
Starring: Kaley Cuoco, David Oyelowo, Connie Nielsen, Rudi Dharmalingam, Bill Nighy
Director: Thomas Vincent
Rating: NC16 (Some Violence, Some Coarse Language)
Year Made: 2024



Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese
Running Time: 1 hr 41 mins