We’re getting deeper and deeper into the year 2016, and we’ve got three flicks coming your way this week. Get ready for Dirty Grandpa, Boy and The 5th Wave.
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
This flick looks like a good example of what happens when a potentially funny concept is delivered by a couple of dudes who might come close to the mark in the comedy department, but not close enough. Zac Efron and Robert De Niro as kid and grandpa will possibly have its moments, though I suspect there will be a bunch of missed opportunities. The trailer looks like as much. A mash up of obvious Spring Break jokes as we work really hard to believe Efron as the straight-laced, yuppity type is just a little of the stretch we’re working with here.
Again, this trailer has its moments. Most notably, Aubrey Plaza looks like she nails it as the older man-seeking nympho. But the rest? It looks borderline at best and cringe-worthy at worst. Just too many cliches packed into too small a time frame. We’ve been down the road debaucherous tour taken by the unsuspecting. These aren’t the guys to pull it off.
Directed by Dan Mazer, who has a pretty hilarious record directing some of Da Ali G Show and the quasi-miss I Give it A Year (55%), will miss the mark with this one. It just appears too forced even with the stronger cast.
Rotten Watch Prediction
Based on the young adult novel of the same name, The 5th Wave tells the story of Cassie Sullivan (Chloe Grace Moretz) as she navigates a world that’s been decimated by aliens. Personally, I’ve never understood the stories in which alien races comes to Earth simply to destroy it. Seems like a colossal waste of time from an obviously superior race. But I digress.
Some early reviews confirm what seemed more than apparent in the trailer: the movie looks pretty bad. Words like "leaden" and "generic" are just a couple of adjectives used to describe the script, a love story set against the backdrop of aliens turning the human race back a few hundred years in the technology department.
J Blakeson directs his first big budget film and unfortunately the critics won’t put a positive seal on it. If the reviews continue in this vein, we’ll be looking at score in the teens (appropriate) or maybe even lower. What a shame. But hey, if you are going to give me wave after wave of nothing then critics can’t get on board.
Rotten Watch Prediction
Take a look at the babysitting gig from hell in the trailer for The Boy:
I was sufficiently creeped out when the parents moved aside and revealed to Lauren Cohan a pasty doll instead of a real kid. Conceptually, giving new life to the Chucky-themed horror film by making a doll evil incarnate isn’t the worst idea in the world. It lends itself to a fair amount of willies given that dolls, in and among themselves, are suspicious. That this doll wouldn’t mind killing you if his "rules for care" aren’t met, well that sure does step things up a bit.
My big problem with movies like this are they force you to suspend disbelief in so much as the babysitter would have left probably the first time the doll moved on its own. Playing out the string to it’s not-so-logical deadly conclusion is almost as farfetched as the doll being an actual murderer. No rational human is sticking around the second things take a turn for the worst. It just makes no sense.
Stay Alive (9%) and The Devil Inside (6%). It’s tough to imagine this latest finishing much higher than those films. Once the initial shock of the bad baby wears off I suspect you are left with just waiting until the dummy babysitter wakes up enough to get the hell out of the house.
Which of my predictions do you think will be closest?
Last week was certainly a weird one. I only hit on one of the three movies, and was legitimately surprised about the other two. First the win with Ride Along 2 (Predicted: 19% Actual: 15%). It finished right in line with the first one (18%) and didn’t look like it was going to offer much more. And that prediction proved correct. Most critics considered it a retread of the first one and nothing more. No value add and no real additional laughs. All of the beats were the same with Cube and Hart playing the same cliches and getting paid.
Meanwhile, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (Predicted: 35% Actual: 60%) was a surprise to me. For starters, this the first Michael Bay-directed (or anything-ed) movie that’s finished with a score above 50% since The Rock. That’s a long run of critical disappointment. But this story of the soldiers in Benghazi hit the mark with critics who, for the most part, took to the story.
And finally, Norm of the North (Predicted: 38% Actual: 0%). Woof. A zero is really something for any movie, but especially an animated one. Animated movies are so vanilla that even when they are bad, critics can be convinced to give them some type of pass because "the kids" and all. But not Norm and company. No sir. Critics panned the hell out of it and through 33 reviews there hasn’t been a nice word said.
Next time around it’s Fifty Shades of Black, Jane Got a Gun, The Finest Hours and Kung Fu Panda 3. It’s gonna be a Rotten Week!