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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.
You need to go pretty far back to find the last Will Smith-led movie that finished fresh on the Tomatometer. It was 2012’s Men In Black III. In fact, it’s the only one of his last 12 flicks that has finished above 60%. This is a run of films that includes titles like Aladdin (57%), Bright (27%), Collateral Beauty (14%), Suicide Squad (27%), and Concussion (59%). Sure, some came close, but this is a lot of green splatter marks. And it doesn’t look like Gemini Man is going to reverse the trend.
This is a film that has long been in development, and will finally hit the big screen after 22 years of being in the works. it stars Will Smith and, well, Will Smith as his younger self - all thanks to wonderful advancements in visual effects. It’s a nifty feat, and that’s about the only nice thing critics are saying about the flick. It’s currently sitting at 43% through 23 reviews, and I expect it to drop over the course of the week.
Ang Lee’s last few big budget directing forays have been received generally positive marks, with films including Life of Pi (87%), Hulk (62%), and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (97%). Gemini Man won’t get there.
While it might be something of a joke to posit a person being “in love” with his/her phone, in this day and age it doesn’t seem all that far from the truth. But your phone being in love with you? That’s a somewhat new one I suppose. This is the plot of Jexi, which looks to be a comedic version of Her, in which Adam Devine gets a new phone with AI tech installed. The digital consciousness becomes obsessed with the young man, and hilarity supposedly ensues. From the trailer, though, it looks like they whiffed on the laughs.
The directing team of Scott Moore and Jon Lucas have done a few low rent comedies like Bad Moms (58%), Bad Moms Christmas (31%), and 21 and Over (25%). This latest looks to be much of the same. I barely mustered a chuckle in the 2-and-a-half minute trailer, and those are supposed to be the flick’s best parts. Jexi looks pretty awful.
The Addams Family has been around in some form or another since 1938, and has resonated with audiences in different ways for that entire history. Whether it be the comics, the black and white television show, or live action features in the 1990s, studios have seen it appropriate to repurpose the idea of the gothic nuclear family over and over. And now we get an animated movie version with the titular group moving to the suburbs of New Jersey in a fish-out-of-water scenario.
This was originally supposed to be a Tim Burton film through Illumination Animation, which would have led me much more optimistic about The Addams Family with critics. But instead it looks like a dry remake with a bunch of canned jokes and without much in the way of storytelling value. I can’t imagine critics get on board for what looks like a stale offering.
There was only one movie on the docket last week, and I definitely had a big head start when it came to getting the overall tone of reviews. Joker (Predicted: 75% Actual: 69%) had already screened at festivals, so I basically knew what I was getting with the Tomatometer score. The score did drop some more over the course of the week, and the movie continues to stir up controversy around it’s tone, story, and overall approach. I will say it’s interesting that Rotten Tomatoes “Top Critics” had this movie much lower, at 45 percent. I’m not sure if there’s much to glean from that, but it’s rare to see the kind of disparity between the two groups of reviewers. In all, this movie will likely garner more buzz come awards season depending on how nominations shake out (or don't).