It’s a sequelriffic week in the new releases!
1. The Equalizer 2 (Sony/Columbia, 3,388 Theaters, 121 Minutes, Rated R for brutal violence throughout, language, and some drug content, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 49% Fresh [70 Reviews]): Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Denzel Washington played the Punisher? Well, you must not have seen the first film in this franchise then.
Retired CIA agent Robert McCall (Washington) takes a break from his crusade to protect the downtrodden when a close friend of his is murdered. Then his mission becomes a personal one, as he goes after anyone who has had a hand in her death. However, this time, it isn’t Russian gangsters, but people with much more dangerous connections.
This film has been bounced around the schedule (from September 29, 2017 to September 14, 2018 to August 3, 2018, before settling on this week). That typically is not the sign of a quality film, and the reviews seem to bear that out. But any film with Denzel in it can’t be all bad.
2. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (Universal, 3,317 Theaters, 114 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 81% Fresh [116 Reviews]): Here’s an odd sequel. First, it comes ten years after the original film, which is a pretty long time to wait for a sequel. But the original was an adaptation of a theatrical musical which has yet to have a sequel. So maybe some theater producer will buy the rights to this film and do a Broadway adaptation of it so the musical that was adapted into film that got a sequel can have a sequ–wait! I’ve gone cross-eyed.
This time the story revolves around how Donna (Meryl Streep/Lily James) met Sam (Pierce Brosnan/Jeremy Irvine), Harry (Colin Firth/Hugh Skinner) and Bill (Stellan Skarsgård/Josh Dylan) while her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) deals with a cantankerous marriage to Sky (Dominic Cooper), a pregnancy and the arrival of an estranged grandmother, Ruby (Cher).
Yes, Cher, who is 72, is playing the mother of Meryl Streep, who is 69. Wrap your head around that.
3. Unfriended: Dark Web (BH Tilt, 1,546 Theaters, 88 Minutes, Rated R for some disturbing violence, language and sexual references, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 61% Fresh [38 Reviews]): Then we come to this film, which is a sequel mostly in name only.
Like its predecessor, 2014’s Unfriended, it does take look at the evils of online culture, but instead of online bullying, this one takes on the dark web through group chat.
The plot revolves a group of young friends who like chatting with each other over the Internet. When one of them takes home a laptop that was in his work’s lost and found, he discovers that the owner of the laptop was doing some nasty things. When the laptop’s original owner discovers the chat group now know what he’s done, the previous owner starts killing the chat group’s friends and family.
Next week, the impossible happens and the animated Teen Titans get a film. See you then.