Straight Outta Compton absolutely slew at the box office last weekend, just as expected. The NWA-biopic brought in over $60 million, leaving every other film in the dust. Also hilarious to note, Fantastic Four’s second week total was only $8.2 million, a number that Fox execs are probably embarrassed by – and which probably has Marvel execs laughing their butts off. Fantastic Four isn’t alone in not bringing in bank, with the Summer crowds just not turning out anymore with the season winding down. With many already back at college, and with younger kids scrambling to do all their Summer assignments in the final week, movies just aren’t a priority for most people. Based on the selection of films this weekend, it seems movies aren’t much of a priority for movie studios anymore either. Let’s take a look at the junk being thrown at us today.
Sinister 2 – (R) 97 min. – Horror sequels are dangerous. No, dangerous isn’t the right word. Ill-advised might be better. Especially when the original film isn’t exactly a masterpiece. Sinister was a decent horror movie that I guess earned enough money to make studios think people wanted another one. It never occurs to execs that maybe people just wanted it this one time? As a novelty, you know? Oh well. So now Sinister 2 exists. It follows another family that unwittingly enters the wrathful zone of a professional wrestler with no mouth named Bagul. It currently sits at 4% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is low even by crummy horror movie standards. I really can’t think of anything else to say about this movie. The plot is familiar, it’s unnecessary, and I don’t recommend it.
American Ultra – (R) 95 min. – I’ve always felt that the classic Manchurian Candidate could use a Pineapple Express twist. Not really, but I actually didn’t hate the idea of American Ultra when I first heard it. Jesse Eisenberg plays a stringy-haired stoner that finds out he’s a government sleeper agent with Jason Bourne-like skills. Together with his pothead friend (Kristen Stewart), they run away from government assassins trying to take him out for being a liability. It’s dumb, but that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with dumb as long as it’s dumb done right. Early reviews say that American Ultra is not dumb done right. It’s just dumb. That’s unfortunate. Still, I think American Ultra will find an audience with certain – ahem – herbal enthusiasts. It might even find a following similar to Pineapple Express, which was quite overrated.
Hitman: Agent 47 – (R) 96 min. – Hey, remember when they made a movie out of the video game series “Hitman” back in 2007 with a pre-Justified Timothy Olyphant? Remember how nobody liked that movie? Well here’s a sequel eight years later without post-Justified Timothy Olyphant! The famous Hitman number 47 is back and as personality-less as ever, this time helping a woman track down her ancestry or something. I’m going to be honest, I couldn’t even get through the whole trailer. This is very clearly a movie that the studio made just so they’d have something to fill in this particular weekend of the year. Just ignore it, it’ll go away.
The Bottom Line – Just stay home. Seriously. It’s the end of the Summer; Go in your pool one last time, have a barbecue, spend time with friends. You don’t need to waste your hard-earned money on these movies. If you need a movie, go to a Redbox and pick up Kingsman: The Secret Service for $2. That’s a good deal.