After last week’s big opening for The Avengers, things look to calm down this week as there is no must-see film.
Likely the highest-grossing new film will be Hot Pursuit (30), yet another in the genre of female buddy movies. This time it’s Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, as a policewoman and the wife of a drug kingpin. Witherspoon is a producer, and after doing such honors for more thoughtful films such as Gone Girl and Wild, she’s taken one step back with this apparently humorless comedy. A. O. Scott: “While a movie that fails to catch fire is disappointing, there is something even more dispiriting about a movie that doesn’t even bother to try, that tosses its stars a soggy book of matches and expects them to generate a spark.”
Kristen Wiig, who as a comedy star of television, could have gone the route of making routine films like Hot Pursuit, has admirably sought to make more interesting films. Her latest is Welcome to Me (67), a film about an emotionally disturbed woman who wins the lottery and finances her own talk show. Mike D’Angelo: “The bold, arresting movie doesn’t really work, but is nonetheless almost impossible to stop watching.”
The D Train (55) stars Jack Black as a guy organizing his high school reunion. He’s off to Hollywood to try to get his class’ most famous member, an actor, to come. The trailer suggests there’s some sort of homosexual angle to it, but maybe I’m reading into something into it that’s not there. If so, it seems a strange twist to a movie nowadays. Rene Rodriguez: “The clownish humor is imbued with a great, genuine pain. Unfortunately, the twist proves too much for the filmmakers to handle. The second half of The D Train collapses into a series of plot curlicues and narrative dead-ends. The picture loses its nerve and opts for a pat, wan resolution.”
Also this week, Noble (63), a biopic about Irish activist Christine Noble, who helped needy Vietnamese children.