Subscribe To This Rotten Week: Predicting Red Sparrow And Death Wish Reviews Updates
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
It's quite a career shift to go from being a prima ballerina to a super spy the next. But that's what Jennifer Lawrence seems to pull off in Red Sparrow, as she executes a mid-life work-life pivot and starts kicking ass for the Russian government. Based on the novel by the same name, Red Sparrow follows Lawrence's character as she works to uncover a plot in the Russian government and identify a mysterious mole (or in other words: the exact arc of every spy movie ever).
Director Francis Lawrence has worked with Jennifer Lawrence (no relation) in the past on The Hunger Games sequels, specifically Catching Fire (89%) along with Mockingjay I and 2 (66% and 70% respectively). He's also helmed Water for Elephants (60%) and I Am Legend (69%). His movies almost all fall into that "completely watchable without being amazing" category, and that seems to be where Red Sparrow will land as well. It looks compelling, and Jennifer Lawrence can carry a movie on her own, but has a great supporting cast including Joel Edgerton and Jeremy Irons. Critics already have this at 64% on the Tomatometer through 46 reviews. It's tough to imagine it climbing much over the course of the week.
Rotten Watch Prediction
Speaking of movies with characters pivoting careers, in Death Wish (based on the 1974 Charles Bronson movie), Bruce Willis goes from mild-mannered doctor to full out Punisher-like vigilante cleaning up the riff-raff of Chicago with movie-style street justice. It looks like your standard shoot'em up, though I'm wondering with the current political atmosphere how well it will be received. It looks entertaining, but this could be just the wrong time for it to come out.
Director Eli Roth gets a little away from his usual horror roots (The Green Inferno - 35%, Hostel - 61%), and more into the action genre with this one. His movies typically have some subtle critiques on the state of our world, and this might be the case with Death Wish. There's a chance it goes completely over the top as some kind of commentary, but if not, I could see critics panning it based on the tone.
Overall it was a good week for the Rotten Watch, with two of the three films falling very close to the predictions. Annihilation (Predicted: 88% Actual: 87%) was nearly right on the money, and could end up a direct hit in the next couple of days with just one or two more reviews. Critics loved it from just about every angle. They found it visually stunning and compelling with a fantastic story about humanity writ large. Oh, and it also had a creepy element without going over the top for scares. This lands as one of the best-reviewed wide releases of the year so far.
I was also very close with Every Day (Predicted: 47% Actual: 50%), suspecting that critics would find it so vanilla that it couldn't fall too far on the scale. But it also guessed it wouldn't wow anyone either. That appears very much the case with the Tomatometer landing directly in the middle. Most reviews (good or bad) had a very meh feel to them. No one loved it; no one hated it.
And finally, I had a big miss with Game Night \(Predicted:43% Actual: 81%). Traditionally these kinds of whacky-premise, ever-escalating comedies fail to win critics over because they get way more ridiculous over the course of the film. Often times that kind of one-upping has severely diminishing returns. But Game Night looks like the rare exception, with critics appreciating the laughs and story. More often than not I'll be right with these predictions, but this one proved me wrong.