The Rotten Watch has a desert theme this week. This means that these movies look as appealing as a trip to the hot sands of the Sahara. That's not all they have in common. Both Prince of Persia and Sex and the City 2 will crush the box offices while making critics shake their heads.
Hop on a camel, let's take a look at This Rotten Week.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Movies based on video games are usually win-lose propositions. They win because video game sheep flock to the box office to watch their favorite characters “come to life” on the big screen. They lose because the flicks are generally horrible. Take movies like Max Payne, Hitman and Silent Hill. All grossed in the $80-100 million range at the box office while critics took collective dumps all over them with negative reviews (17%, 14%, and 30% respectively). It's easy to see why. Unlike movies based on say books, video game adaptations are a cruel mistress. They are adapted from something insanely popular with a loose plot structure. Seems easy right? The characters, setting and general problem are already there. Just write in some dialogue, get a love interest going and the thing should write itself, right? Wrong. These movies are instead trapped in the video game box and can't shoot their way out of it. They get stuck with very little plot (just like a video game) and are forced to stay true to what made the video game so popular to begin with: crazy action sequences and some kind of mission to undertake.
This takes us to Prince of Persia. It involves a street urchin, an evil nobleman, a sandstorm, some kind of journey, the possible end of the world, an oddly-accented and long-haired Jake Gyllenhaal, some terrible double entendre dialogue, and a “Dagger of Time.” So basically what you would expect of a video game turned Jerry Bruckheimer-produced movie. Judging by the trailer, Prince of Persia took every aspect of the video game series (including the camera angles) and crammed it into a feature length film that'll appeal to some on a visual level and make others think they are watching Pirates of the Carribean, but in the desert. Would we expect anything more from a video game movie? Nope.
A fair amount of reviews are already in for Prince of Persia with the TomatoMeter reading 56% right now. I see that trending lower and lower over the next week. The Rotten Watch for Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is 44%.
Sex and the City 2
Maybe it's because I have a Y chromosome. Maybe it's because I don't understand the fascination behind wearing expensive designer shoes. Maybe it's because I think Sarah Jessica Parker used to be hot but now looks headed for more of a Joan Rivers-facial future. Whatever the reason, I just don't understand Sex and the City. (Sidenote: Until I looked it up today, I always thought it was Sex IN the City which makes way more sense to me.)
I haven't watched too much of the show, catching it in the background from time to time when my wife was going gaga over Carrie and the gang's upscale lifestyles, designer clothes, cool jobs and great apartments. It's not too difficult to understand why women lose their minds over this premise (My wife went to a Sex and the City-themed party on opening night of the first movie before she and a bevy of adult women went giggling and screaming to the theaters. Let me reiterate, these are adults.) But that's what Mrs. Bradshaw and her clan do to women. They are a classic female fantasy. Who wouldn't want their lives?
In Sex and the City 2, the women head to the desert for some more lavish living (a general F-you to the struggling economy) and Carrie just happens to run into some guy she liked a long time ago. I don't really know what else this flick is about. From what I can gather, the ladies are just a little older, slightly more mature and still in love with themselves.
Just like the first movie, where 49% percent of critics liked it (98% of women and 1% of guys), the sequel will probably run similar, if slightly worse numbers. Women will still lose their minds about it but will have a tougher time dragging significant others to the theaters. We're on to you ladies. The Rotten Watch for Sex and the City 2 is 41%.
Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?
Recapping last week:
Macgruber reviews came out like gangbusters and I got a little too carried away with my score. The more people who watched it, the more were disappointed (Prediction 83%, Actual 54%) except for Katey Rich who tried to help a brother out with her review. Shrek Forever, on the other hand, did better than expected (Prediction 39%, Actual 54%). Good to see Shrek walk off into the fairy tale sunset with more than half of reviewers not totally hating it.
Next week we'll get Russell Brand to The Greek, try not to kill Ashton Kutcher, hang with Marmaduke, figure out what the f#$% is going on with Splice. It's going to be a Rotten Week!