Movie reviews, January 20
Audiences flocked to see Kevin Hart over the weekend as Ride Along became the biggest film ever to open during the Martin Luther King holiday. It took in 41.2 million for first place, while Lone Survivor slipped to second place with 23.2 million. The Nut Job was also strong with 20.6 million for third place, while Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit underperformed with 17.2 million for fourth place. The week's other new release, Devil's Due limped in with 8.5 million for seventh place.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - Paramount - Rated PG-13
In Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Chris Pine stars as the fourth Jack Ryan and is believable. Kevin Costner is the shadowy CIA agent who does the recruiting and is also quite good. Kiera Knightley, who plays Ryan's girlfriend has more to do than that type of role usually allows and she shines. Kenneth Branaugh, who also directs, plays a Russian bad guy right out of the cold war. This is a reboot, taking leave of anything Tom Clancy wrote, and placing Ryan's beginning at 9-11-01. The ending is a bit preposterous, but this competent action film is a welcome January release that doesn't stink. 3 1/2 Stars Out of 5
The Nut Job - Open Road Films - Rated PG
The Nut Job features poor animation, an unremarkable voice cast, unlikeable characters and flatulence jokes aplenty. It is tedious and forgettable with nothing adults will find entertaining or even tolerable.
It all ends with Psy (this is a South Korean financed movie after all) and Gangnam Style with all the characters and Psy doing the horse dance.
You'll be a nut job if you have to sit through this. 2 Stars Out of 5
Ride Along - Universal - Rated PG-13
Call me an old fuddy duddy, but I don't find Kevin Hart all that funny. Histrionics aren't inherently humorous. His, seem screechy and desperate.
Ride Along depends on Hart to do what he does and hopes that audiences will go along for the ride. But, this is another worn out odd-couple buddy cop farce, that is neither imaginative nor funny. Ice Cube has one expression - a scowl. The film makers hope you'll take the piece of candy and go for a ride. Don't. Run the other way, and skip this ride. 1 1/2 Stars out of 5
Devil's Due - 20th Century Fox - Rated R
Devil's Due is the shaky cam version of Rosemary's Baby. The story is stolen almost entirely from the classic film. However, this is not scary in any way. But it sure has all of the "found footage" clichés. The scary part is people are actually paying to see this nausea inducing rip off. I call it Devil's doo-doo. 1 1/2 Stars Out of 5