Another light week for movies with two pretty rough flicks hitting the screen. These are the post Oscar, pre-Spring doldrums that leave a great deal to be desired. This week will do little do shake the dust off. We’ve got Penn going hitman and Woodley getting Divergent.

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.

Rotten Watch Prediction
Do you think other aging actors look at Liam Neeson’s career arc (especially the most recent iteration) and think to themselves, "You know, that doesn’t look too bad. I’ll become an action star in my waning years. Grab a gun, get a little chip on my shoulder, scowl a lot and boom. I’ll be making these movies until I hit the grave." It’s really the only explanation for what Sean Penn is doing here. Nothing else makes sense.

See what I mean in the trailer for The Gunman:

Look, Sean Penn’s a great actor. This flick won’t submarine an entire career resume of pretty great flicks. So he’s got that going for him. But man, this thing looks terrible. Every cliche in the book is coming out in full force. Aging hitman getting (presumably) double-crossed by the agency he devoted his life to serving. A wife who doesn’t totally understand what he’s been doing all these years. A boss/friend turned bad. A kidnapped wife. A man on one final mission. It’s all there. And it looks pretty bad.

Besides the "been there, done that" aspect of the production, Penn looks completely shoehorned into the role. I’m not buying it. He just doesn’t look the part of action star. Maybe that’s because he’s never really done it before. Penn’s career is full of dramatic roles (some of them amazing) but no real action movies to speak of. And definitely not something like this. I think that’s where the Neeson effect comes in. He can do it, why can’t I?

Director Pierre Morel did it once with Taken (58%), and it launched a second stage of a career for Liam. Then he tried it with Travolta in From Paris With Love (37%), which didn’t really take. And now he’s directing Penn in a film currently sitting at 0% on the Tomatometer through ten reviews. Not looking good. The trailer shows a big reason why. It looks miscast, full of cliches and short on surprises. There’s only one Liam Neeson. Everyone else can stop pretending.

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