The new releases this week offer up an underwhelming, all too familiar display of wares for you.
1. The LEGO Ninjago Movie (Warner Brothers, 4,047 Theaters,101 Minutes, Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating at press time: 52% Fresh [63 Reviews]): This film is not only the latest installment of the LEGO film franchise, but an ipso facto big screen adaptation of the popular Cartoon Network series.
Set in the Asian-flavored world of Ninjago, the film deals with the lead ninja Lloyd (Dave Franco) coming to terms with the fact that his arch-enemy Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux) is also his father.
I thought it would have taken more than three movies for the LEGO franchise to lose its magic. Maybe it was because we have seen the concept before, but this film seems fairly lackluster in comparison to the other two.
2. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Fox, 4,003 Theaters, 141 Minutes, Rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating at press time: 50% Fresh [168 Reviews]): When a terrorist organization called The Golden Circle attacks Kingsman headquarters, Eggsy must travel to the United States and team with the American version, The Statesmen, to stop The Golden Circle’s plans of death and blackmail.
Can we stop for a moment and mention the cast? In addition to Oscar winner Colin Firth, this film adds Oscar winners Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, and Jeff Bridges to the cast. Add to that Oscar-nominee Emily Watson and box-office pretty boy, Channing Tatum, and you have a heck of a cast for a sequel.
Reviews aren’t great but action films usually don’t score high with the critics. The trailer looks fun enough to take a look.
3. Friend Request (Entertainment Studios, 2,359 Theaters, 92 Minutes, Rated R for horror violence, disturbing images, and language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer rating at press time: 21% Fresh [43 Reviews]): Accepting a friend request from someone you don’t know is scary enough. They could be on the opposite scale of political beliefs than you and looking to pick a fight. Or someone that posts nothing but pictures of their cats. Or “I bet you won’t read all the way through” posts. But have them be possessed by demons and out to ruin your life? That’s slightly worse.
This film is a German film (with an English speaking cast) that has been in release there since early 2016 and has made a tour of most of the overseas markets since that time. It already had made 60% of its budget back, so if it does well here, we could have another friend request send out to you in the future. And even with bad reviews, a short, R-rated horror flick could earn some money for American audiences.
Busy week for next week’s new releases, as we have remakes, films that are pretty much remakes and another entry in the Christian film genre.