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.
Rotten Watch Prediction
Hollywood will probably never run out of Post-9/11 war movies. It was a traumatic time for our nation deserving of both reenactment and deconstruction, and as such U.S. tours of Afghanistan and Iraq will be like World War II films: told forever. Peter Fuglsig's 12 Strong is one such example, following the battalion of Special Forces soldiers who first hit the ground in Afghanistan on a classified mission after the Twin Towers fell. Based on the novel Horse Soldiers, the film finds them entering the Middle Eastern country to fight the Taliban, uniting with friendly Afghanistan forces to get the job done.
Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, and Michael Pena lead a top-notch cast, and screenwriter Peter Craig has solid resume including films like The Town (93%) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I and II (66% and 70% respectively) on his resume. In addition to finding audiences, war films like these tend to score well with critics. I predict 12 Strong winds up doing well, but the reaction won't be overwhelmingly positive.
Rotten Watch Prediction
It must be every detective's dream to get the promotion to be the guy who gets to show up to work fully-tatted up, wearing a leather jacket, and keeping a sawed-off in the front seat. According to the movies, these guys rule the streets... and Den of Thieves looks to be bringing us a brand new take on it. Gerard Butler is the ultimate mash-up of every cinematic rogue cop you've seen, and he's out to catch a cliched group of bank robbers looking to make a big score. I'm into it, but I don't think the majority of critics will be.
These flicks, while usually not all that good, are often a hell of a lot of fun. Elaborate ways to rob banks, gangs playing by their own rules, cops living on the edge - things that would never, ever happen in the real world. It's what makes movies fun. Director Christian Gudegast has some experience in this realm as a screenwriter, previously making London Has Fallen (25%) and A Man Apart (11%). Both of them are solid late-night cable watches without having any real critical base. I suspect this will be the same.
Rotten Watch Prediction
Oh baby, are you ready for some cliches? Because Here. We. Go. Forever My Girl tells the story of a country music star who, while achieving wealth and stardom, is seeking some redemption as he visits his home town. Redemption for what, you ask? Drugs. Booze. Women. General hedonism. You name it. But most noteworthy is how left his girl at the alter on the day of their wedding so he could go get famous as a singer. Does she take him back? Of course. This is the movies afterall.
This is thing looks like a sticky-sweet piece of junk. I'm sure it will have it's demographic, though, and may find an audience in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day. Think the Venn Diagram of Nicholas Sparks' readers and country music fans. But if you aren't sitting in that very slim overlap then I suspect this movie is nearly unwatchable, and I believe the final Rotten Tomatoes score for Forever My Girl will reflect that.
The Rotten Watch went two for three last week with predictions. Liam Neeson continued his particular brand of "race against the clock" with The Commuter (Predicted: 56% Actual: 52%), and critics were basically split down the middle with their reviews. Some appreciated Neeson's performance and the intrigue of the mystery. Others thought it was straight bush league and couldn't stand it. Critics seemed almost just as torn on the movie as Neeson himself in this role, unsure if he should take the money for a criminal act or just run.
Meanwhile, Paddington 2 (Predicted: 99% Actual: 100%) sits in some rarified air. Holding a 100% with 149 reviews counted simply doesn't happen for a full length feature film in wide release. A perfect Tomatometer meter score is something that needs to be celebrated. Unfortunately, now we wait on pins and needles for the one troll to come along and dig the score simply as click bait for their own personal brand. Please, please, please, if you are reading this, don't be that guy/girl.
Finally, Proud Mary (Predicted: 42% Actual: 23%) was my one miss. I really wanted this to not finish below 33%, and I thought it both looked fun enough for an action film and didn't think the expectations would be all that high. It seems I was wrong on both fronts. While it doesn't have many reviews counted because it wasn't screened pre-release, critics thought the action was subpar and the writing/story atrocious. I missed pretty bad with my prediction here, though I'm still up for seeing it.
Next time around will be seeing the finale of a trilogy with the release of Maze Runner: The Death Cure. It's gonna be a Rotten Week!