Weekend Movies: An Epic Failure of Creativity

Is anyone else burned out from the never-ending streak of sequels and remakes? Some are good. Most are not. Sadly, this Memorial Day weekend is filled with rehashes, including three sequels and one rip-off that might as well be a reboot.

Giving parents something to take their kids to, the widest release of the holiday weekend is yet another ‘Ferngully‘ clone, this one called ‘Epic‘. The Fox Animation 3D flick is playing on 3,800 screens. The minds behind ‘Ice Age‘ and ‘Rio‘ have teamed up for this moral agenda kids’ movie. A teenage girl somehow gets whisked away to an unseen aspect of the world where she must fight against the forces of evil with animal-loving, tree-hugging fairies. If ‘The Croods’ can make a gajillion dollars, it’s likely that ‘Epic’ will too.

The second widest release is ‘Fast & Furious 6‘. All of the major players are back again for the sixth installment, which takes them even further across the globe. This time, they leave the confines of their non-extraditing nations for the chance to get fully pardoned. A new highly-experienced group of vehicular heisters scheme to ruin the world in a silly 007-esque plot. The Rock knows that the only other group with the same driving and heisting skills belongs to the Paul Walker/Vin Diesel gang, so he makes them a bold offer that takes them to London, Spain and Victorville, CA. (If you know Victorville, I feel your pain; I grew up in the city next door.) Be prepared for absurd action and the greatest tease yet for what’s to come in next summer’s ‘Fast & Furious 7’.

While the ‘Fast & Furious’ movies get better (and more ridiculous) with each installment, the third wide release of the weekend belongs to a franchise that only gets worse as it moves along. After the awful, ad-libbed ‘Part II‘, ‘The Hangover Part III‘ completely changes gears. Like the ‘Fast & Furious’ movies, the ‘Hangover‘ folks knew that they couldn’t keep draining our wallets with the same used-up schtick, so they’ve reinvented the story much that ‘Part III’ doesn’t actually feature a hangover. There’s no waking up to insane scenarios. There’s no piecing together the previous mysterious night. This time, Todd Phillips once again takes us into an overly dark and unfun place. The trilogy is brought full circle when a Las Vegas kingpin blames the Wolfpack for Mr. Chow stealing $21 million from him. If they don’t find Chow, who’s now an international fugitive, the kingpin will murder Doug. Killing, shoot-outs and heists ensue.

The third sequel this weekend is the limited indie release ‘Before Midnight‘. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have reteamed for the drama, this time set in Greece. ‘Before Sunset’ was shot and released nine years after ‘Before Sunrise’, and ‘Midnight’ was shot and is set nine years after ‘Sunset’. After great reception from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, ‘Before Midnight’ sits at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.


  1. William Henley

    I was thinking on going to see Epic, but didn’t have a kid to take with me, and I feel weird going to see movies like this by myself. But the reviews I have heard have not been that positive, so I guess it is a good thing that I saved my money (and saved myself from nasty looks from parents at the theater).

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