It’s a few weeks before Labor Day weekend, which means the studios are holding out on the good stuff until then. This week, you’ve got three stinkers opening. But we’ll let you make the call.
The best of the bunch is American Ultra starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristin Stewart in a black comedy about Mike (Eisenberg) who, though he doesn’t remember it, is actually a lethal assassin programmed to kill. (By day, though, he’s a bumbling stoner). When his skills leap from his subconscious, his killer instincts kick in. He’s totally freaked out, dude.
Perfect For: You want something that’s like a mash up between Clerks and Bourne Identity.
What the Critics Say: An amusing trifle. Entertainment Weekly: “Check your brain at the popcorn-butter pump in the lobby and enjoy it.” The Hollywood Reporter: “A genre mash that's mildly amusing until it can't think of anything else to do besides flop around in the deep end of conspicuous gore.”
Our Take: Looks cute; maybe the matinee?
Hitman: Agent 47
Another spy movie, but this one takes itself dead seriously. This one stars the guy you’ll probably recognize as Quinn from Homeland (actor Rupert Friend), also playing a sinister baddie here. One who can stop bullets (and no, we are not in The Matrix), but he is some sort of hyper-engineered superhuman, as are a whole bunch of other people before him, the agent clones. There’s another genetically engineered superwoman who he must save so that the bad guys don’t use her genes to make more. Or something
Perfect For: You liked The Matrix and you want a little more Bond? We’re not sure.
What the Critics Say: Abysmal. Variety: “What to call it, exactly? The 47th best action film of 2015? A feature-length Audi commercial, or a promo reel for the Singapore Tourism Board? The most unnecessary artistic contribution ever made by someone named Bach?” The Hollywood Reporter: “Hitman: Agent 47 turns out to be exactly the kind of fast-paced, mind-numbing thriller that studios churn out to fill screens during the dog days of summer.”
Our Take: Skip!
A sequel to a movie no one remembers, your first indication that this is a straight-to-vid flick is that it’s August and they are releasing it now instead of Halloween. There’s a house. Of course it’s haunted. By a ghoul. Or a serial killer. There are creepy old movies. Two small twin boys. A record player that plays old timey creepy songs. Someone gets haunted. Guess the rest.
Perfect For: Fans of Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project, things that go
“Boo!” Despite the children in the movie, not appropriate for children.
What the Critics Say: Not great, and not as good as the first. Variety: “Anyone who found the original a cut above the average horror pic will likely leave the theater disappointed, if not downright insulted.” And says Entertainment Weekly: “Sinister 2 doesn't know what it wants to be, and doesn't add up to much.”
Our Take: Go rent The Exorcist instead. You’ll be scared for the next decade.