Well, the rapture didn’t take me yesterday which is odd because I’ve always considered myself a virtual lock for heaven. Instead, I’m stuck on Earth in some kind of sequel hell. This week, the Vegas Wolfpack do their thing in Thailand and the Dragon Warrior gets his Kung Fu on. And just remember, I'm not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they'll end up on the Tomatometer. Let’s take a look at what This Rotten Week has to offer.
The Hangover 2
When labeling this generation of malcontents I think it’s best to skip the X’s or Y’s oz Z’s and simply just call us all Generation 2: The Sequel. We live in a sequel culture and that’s most definitely what we’ve become. A generation of recyclers. And while on the environmental front, chucking your empty beer cans into a specially marked bin and sending them out on designated pickup days is admirable, the recycling of ideas has us on the brink of creative Armageddon.
Take the case of Stu, Phil and Alan who, for all intents and purposes, appear trapped in the exact same script as their previous foray into a night of blackness, only this time substitute Las Vegas with Thailand, a missing Doug with some missing Thai kid, and Ed Helm’s ripped out tooth with a Tyson face tat. Everything else looks to be about exactly the same.
Look, I’ve seen The Hangover roughly 37,000 times over the last few years. It’s a byproduct of having the full movie package and my remote acting like some sort of Todd Phillips compass with this flick being true North. And maybe Phillips wrote something new and fresh and hilarious with the sequel, but I sincerely doubt it. Sure it will have its laughs and Galifianakis probably steals the show again, but really what are we getting here? A movie so recycled that calling it a sequel might even be a misnomer. Sequel implies story progression. It should probably just be called Another Hangover. But it’s not, people will flock to see it, and it will have more than a few laughs. The players are just too good for it to be a total stinker. But it’s not new. It’s just recycled. The Rotten Watch for The Hangover Part II is 55%.
Kung Fu Panda 2
I can’t even pretend to give one iota of a crap about this movie. I hated watching the trailer, hated doing research about it, hated thinking about what to write about an animated movie about a panda that does kung-fu, and hated that the original was such a critical hit. I even hated that I chuckled a few times in the trailer. Uggh. If I sound like a bitter old man, so be it because I’m sick of animated movies.
But guess who doesn’t hate these movies? Just about everyone else in the world. The movie studios know the bad ones make money and the good ones let all the executives buy their next island (Kung Fu Panda - 88% and $215 million at the box office). The voice actors must fight each other for the chance for an easy payday. And the kids. Oh my god, the kids. Watching Po flip around the screen doing kung fu and making fat jokes is like some kind of prepubescent porn. They just can’t get enough. And if you have all those factors working for you, why not just crank out a sequel that pits our hero up against some new kind of worldly evil? Everyone wins.
Director Jennifer Yuh Nelson steps out from behind the storyboard artist role and directs this sequel. She worked on the original Kung Fu Panda so I guess that means she understands Po’s motivations and inner-workings (joke). The Rotten Watch for Kung Fu Panda 2 is 62%.
Recapping last week:
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Predicted: 44% Actual: 34%) is a classic case of critical success versus commercial success. Critics thought the movie was even worse than I predicted (although not by a ton), but fans clamored over each other into the theater this weekend to see it. So this franchise won’t be going anywhere soon and Johnny Depp can keep living out his dream to just actually turn into a pirate in real life. I wouldn’t be surprised if he just started insisting friends call him Jack from now on.
Next week Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier keep up the educational reform dialogue by starting up a little charter school for mutants. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!