This weekend’s biggest new movie is a waste of time, but because it stars The Rock, it’s still bound to make some money anyway. With that video game adaptation drawing moviegoers, few will likely bother to see the three other newcomers.
Hollywood is so hard up for established nostalgia properties that Warner Bros. has stooped so low as to turn the 8-bit video game ‘Rampage‘ into a feature film. Reuniting Dwayne Johnson with his ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ and ‘San Andreas’ director, the movie follows a zookeeper (Johnson) who has more of a personal relationship with primates than he does with humans. His best friend, a giant albino gorilla, is poisoned with an evil corporation’s experiment and begins to grow in size and anger. Two other infected animals – a wolf and an alligator – join him for the most destruction that Chicago has seen since Michael Bay blew it up in one of those ‘Transformers’ movies. I expected ‘Rampage’ to be the same type of guilty pleasure dumb-fun as ‘San Andreas’, but it’s just plain dumb. Every joke falls flat and each set-piece that should be thrilling will leave you disengaged.
I sure like what Jason Blum has been able to do for the horror genre, but I’m worried about his latest. Blumhouse’s ‘Truth or Dare‘ presents a large group of unlikeable teens who engage in a deadly game of the same name. Harm comes to anyone who declines a dare or fails to turn the truth. Opening in the wake of ‘A Quiet Place’, I don’t expect it to perform as well as it would have if it had opened just about any other weekend.
New distributor Fun Academy Motion Picture has a never-heard-of animated film on 1,685 screens. If you’re wondering how that’s possible, the movie is a co-production between the U.S., Canada, Ireland and France. ‘Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero‘ tells the story of a stray dog who becomes a decorated hero when he and his new owner perform courageous acts on the battlefields of World War I. It sounds like a knockoff of ‘War Horse’. Helena Bonham Carter, Logan Lerman and Gerard Depardieu are the notable actors in the voice cast.
The director of ‘Session 9’ and ‘The Machinist’ has a new historical thriller in theaters. From Tony Gilroy, the writer of most of the ‘Bourne’ movies, ‘Beirut‘ takes us into Lebanon’s capital during the early 1980s, the height of the nation’s civil war. The story follows U.S. influencers played by Rosamund Pike, Dean Norris and John Hamm. Buzz is generally positive, so ‘Beirut’ might be the most promising title of the week.
Finally, Fox Searchlight intended to expand Wes Anderson’s stop-motion ‘Isle of Dogs‘ to 1,500 screens this weekend, but after three weeks of success in limited release, it’s being pushed out to nearly 2,000 screens instead.