We’ve only got one movie on tap this week, but it’s at least an interesting one. M. Night Shyamalan is back to confound us with the age-old question: is he a legitimately talented director, or a man of only a few good ideas? Let’s get ready for Glass.
Just remember, I’m not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they’ll end up on the Tomatometer. Let’s take a look at This Rotten Week has to offer.
To say M. Night Shyamalan has had an up and down career would be something of an understatement. He killed it early on with The Sixth Sense (85%), and then followed it up with Unbreakable (67%) and Signs (69%). But then there were some signs of trouble with The Village (43%), and then the wheels came off completely with Lady in the Water (25%) and The Happening (18%). He finally hit rock bottom with The Last Airbender (5%) and After Earth (11%). But then, out of the ashes like a phoenix, he pulled off both The Visit (66%) and Split (66%), and quickly turned his reputation around. Who can get a handle on this guy? This career is all over the place.
Now he’s following up Split with Glass, which are both part of the Eastrail 177 Trilogy with Unbreakable. They bring back Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis from the first movie to reprise their roles and continue turning this into a super grounded superhero franchise. The problem is that critics aren’t buying it. In true M. Night fashion, this thing is already a major disappointment even after all the goodwill afforded from his last two features. It’s sitting at 38% through 39 reviews, and I’m not getting the sense the score is going to come up at all in the short term.
I only went one for three last week, but at least one of the misses had the general tone of the reviews correct. The Upside (Predicted: 47% Actual: 40%) was my lone predictive win, and it was kind of easy to see this one coming. The trailer didn’t have any jokes that came close to landing, and the whole premise (while based on a true story) seemed hackneyed and forced. Critics were unimpressed with the story even though they did generally enjoy the performances of both Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston.
A Dog’s Way Home (Predicted: 35% Actual: 60%) was a big miss mostly because it seems like critics gave this thing a massive pass. If you read the tone of the reviews (and there are only 38 of them, meaning most critics didn’t waste their time), there were some major apologies going along with the positive ratings. Most had a tone of “It wasn’t good, but it was nice.” Even with a little correction, my prediction would have been off. But I can’t help but feel I should have been at least a little bit closer here.
And finally, Replicas (Predicted: 28% Actual: 9%) sucked, but way harder than I thought it would. Much like A Dog’s Way Home, most critics didn’t even get to screenings, as Rotten Tomatoes only has 22 reviews on record. In some ways that’s even more an indictment on how bad this thing is. It’s one thing to be hated, it’s another to be ignored (the worst is to be both).