The summer just wouldn't be complete without getting Dwayne Johnson in the middle of as many explosions as can fit in 103 minutes - and this week we get not only that, but also a return to the animated world of a blood-sucking hotel owner. Get ready for Skyscraper and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.
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.
Despite seeming to defy every reasonable law of physics, Skyscraper looks like a fun affair that has all the boom-booms and excess you'd want from a big budget, low-reality type of summer popcorn film. Dwayne Johnson stars in what was likely pitched to the studio as "Die Hard with The Rock". He's a security expert with a prosthetic leg who's family is held hostage in the world's largest skyscraper by a gang of international terrorists. It even has the Asian-business owner vibe going to keep the Die Hard comparisons strong.
Director Rawson Marshall Thurber once again teams up with Dwayne Johnson for Skyscraper, the two having previously worked together on Central Intelligence (70%). The filmmaker also directed We're the Millers (47%) and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (70%), so he's kind of all over the map. This is his first foray into the big-budget action game, and I think it ends up being a basic cable mainstay for a time to come and will do well enough with the critics to perform at the box office.
What happens when Dracula is tired of running a bed and breakfast for other ghosts, goblins and ghouls and wants to venture out for a little love? He hits the high seas on a cruise, of course - and that's basically the entire premise for Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. The first Hotel Transylvania (44%) and Hotel Transylvania 2 (55%) were both big-time, money-making successes (totaling about $850 million at the box office), though they underperformed on the Tomatometer. The ticket sales are for sure what's spurring the third installment of the franchise.
Genndy Tartakovsky is back directing Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation after helming the first two in the series, and early reviews have been positive. It's sitting at 73% with 11 reviews posted, and the consensus seems to be that the laughs are there in a relatively silly film. I doubt it sticks in this range over the long haul, but there's at least reason to expect it outperforms the first two films on the Tomatometer, which is fairly rare when we are talking franchises.
Last time out I had one hit and one miss with my predictions. Ant-Man and The Wasp (Predicted: 85% Actual: 86%) was nearly a direct match, though there were a bunch of reviews in already at the time the article was posted. It's another critical win for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and closes out a super successful 2018 along with Black Panther (97%) and Avengers: Infinity War (83%). They really haven't had anything close to a misstep in the last few years, and as a whole have just pumped out hit after hit. It's remarkable, and they aren't showing any signs of slowing down.
Meanwhile, The First Purge (Predicted: 37% Actual: 52%) was a miss. I can't help but feel like the current state of political discourse in our country helped the Tomatometer score just a little. More than a handful of critics drew comparisons between the ideas posited in The First Purge and what's happening in the news, and it finished in line with the last two in the series. Essentially people are saying that it works, but isn't necessarily as smart or scary as it the premise should allow.