Some movies are so massive that the competition doesn't even bother coming to play. We have one of those situations going on this weekend, but the big blockbuster coming to the plate is indeed a guaranteed home run at the box office. Get ready for The Fate of the Furious. It's gonna be a Rotten Week!
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 This Rotten Week has to offer.
The Fast & Furious franchise represents what I believe to be a perfect example of how critics shift expectations to a series. There aren't many fundamental differences between the first four chapters and the most recent four, except that the stunts get a little bigger and bolder. That being said, the first four blockbusters averaged a 39% on the Tomatometer, while the last three have averaged a 75%. What changed? The addition of Dwayne Johnson is one thing, but there's also the factor of how critics view the franchise. By the time Fast Five (77%) came out, no one was taking the adventures seriously and decided to go along for the ride. It continued with Fast & Furious 6 (69%) and Furious 7 (79%), and now we have chapter eight, The Fate of the Furious.
The new film brings together the monster ensemble that's been building over the years, new faces in Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren, a solid director in F. Gary Gray (Straight out of Compton - 87%, The Italian Job - 73%) and some awesome looking action. I'm always encouraged when critics and fans alike can take a movie at face value and embrace the positives while also remembering, hell we are just watching a movie. The Fate of the Furious should be fun, and while I don't think it will get the same reaction as the last three films, it will still get an overall positive response.
It wasn't a great week for the Rotten Watch last time around, with two misses to add to the resume. First up, I thought Going in Style (Predicted: 62% Actual: 44%) had a chance considering the moderately beloved cast and what looked to be some cute scenes about a group of bank-robbingbbing geezers. But it fell well short of the mark with critics. Most agreed it was good to see the three actors all on screen together, but that the plot and comedy were lacking. I get the sense that if this movie had three no name older actors playing the parts it would have finished much, much lower.
Meanwhile, I'm legit shocked about Smurfs: The Lost Village (Predicted: 14% Actual: 40%), which nearly doubled the score of pre-reboot predecessor, The Smurfs 2. This film looked positively horrible, and though 40% isn't something for most movies to write home about, it feels like it is for The Smurfs. I thought critics would outright despise it and quietly worried my 14% guess would be a little high. Turns out they merely disliked it. That's an important distinction.