You’ll be forgiven for assuming that this star-crossed romance is based on a popular Young Adult novel, but in fact it’s an original script from the mind of full-time cringe merchant Allan Loeb (Collateral Beauty). Even without the teen-baiting paperback to accompany it, this is a no-less cornball, fascinatingly confused and eventually quite terrible romp all by itself.
Doubling down on the campy absurdity of its 2015 predecessor while refusing to take the disappointingly tame sex scenes to smutty new levels, Fifty Shades Darker is a staggering misfire only good for repressed housewives who might cower at the sight of actual human genitals, and those who can appreciate the film’s treasure trove of unintentional hilarity.
If not quite matching the high standard set by 2014’s surprisingly excellent The Lego Movie, this Bat-centric spin-off is a spry, visually lavish superhero movie that should easily satisfy frothing fanboys and casuals alike.
Every bit the cynically lazy, belated reboot most were expecting, Rings exists solely to milk the wallets of people who didn’t even exist when the 2002 U.S. remake first hit screens. Despite a few vaguely interesting ideas, it’s mostly just blandly soporific slop.
Far away from the doomed belated sequel many expected but also not quite the top-notch follow-up fans were hoping for, the clunkily-titled T2 Trainspotting – because someone apparently found that Terminator 2 nod way too funny during the marketing brainstorm – is a mostly triumphant return for the central quartet, and a reliably stylish winner from Danny Boyle.
Though the fanboy-pleasing quality to this animated adaptation of the cult superhero supergroup is undeniable, fans will probably be left simply whelmed by its merely acceptable approach to bringing these beloved characters to the big screen.
Living up – or down? – to just about every expectation of a belated jolt to the heart of a long-expired franchise, the third xXx movie may be lunk-headed and wholly unnecessary, but it’s also a ton of fun thanks to a game cast, self-aware tone and wealth of ultra-absurd action.