The summer movie season may be gearing up, but as week after week of prospective blockbusters make their way into theaters, not every film playing will be a winner. Sure, releases like Captain America: Civil War and The Nice Guys are earning mountains of praise. However, some of the films currently taking up screens nationwide are less than stellar when it comes to delivering a compelling story, memorable characters, and high-octane thrills. Here are five new movies that you might want to reconsider seeing.
1. The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Snow White and the Huntsman may not have left audiences clamoring for more, but this prequel/sequel/spinoff happened anyway. A stellar cast of actors — including Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Chastain — headline this messy fantasy adventure that makes even less sense than its predecessor.
Caught between honoring its fairy tale roots and embracing a Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones aesthetic, the film succeeds in neither respect. Instead, it proves the futility in squeezing a franchise out of a franchise that no one really liked that much to begin with.
2. The Boss
Melissa McCarthy is an undeniable talent. Films like Bridesmaids, The Heat, and Spy prove that she can win laughs like few other people working today. However, that trio of releases was directed by Paul Feig, and audiences will have to wait until Ghostbusters to see him reunite with McCarthy. Instead, this film sees McCarthy play an executive who attempts to turn over a new leaf after getting out of prison.
The Boss marks her second starring role in a comedy directed by husband Ben Falcone after the equally disappointing Tammy in 2014. Based on a character McCarthy developed years ago, the film unfortunately has tons of story problems and misfires on the joke front.
3. Mother’s Day
Director Garry Marshall is behind hits like Beaches, Pretty Woman, and The Princess Diaries, but his recent run of films devoted to various holidays has given way to a creative drought that he may not return from.
Following Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, this shallow ensemble comedy wastes the talents of Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, and many others to tell a interwoven tapestry of second-rate stories that culminate in the titular holiday. Though there are moments of respite from the film’s over-arching mediocrity, they are too few and far between to recommend the film as a theatrical experience.
4. The Darkness
Each year, Hollywood has a tendency to toss subpar releases into the cinematic no man’s land that is January. However, judging by the dreadful critical response to this supposed horror film, it may be hitting theaters a few months too late.
Starring Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell (gifted performers with tons of great work in their respective pasts), The Darkness centers on a family haunted by some evil spirit and offers little in the way of imagination. Instead, the film is content to retread the same old horror clichés. Just wait until The Conjuring 2 hits theaters next month for your horror fix.
5. The Angry Birds Movie
Films based on video games are known for their disappointing track record (see also: Ratchet & Clank), and this big-screen adaptation of the wildly popular series falls right in line with what audiences would expect. Pandering humor, an incredibly thin story, and characters who are more loud than memorable waste an ensemble cast comprised of some of the best gifted comedic talents today. The Angry Birds Movie may work for small children and perhaps the most ardent fans of the games, but otherwise, moviegoers should slingshot their way into a better film.
Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable
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