Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Black Dahlia" Wilts; "Gridiron Gang" Fumbles; "Last Kiss" Just Like the First; "Everyone's Hero" Not

by | September 14, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, we have De Palma‘s latest thriller ("The Black Dahlia"), Zach Braff whining about growing up ("The Last Kiss"), The Rock teaching young criminals about the reformative nature of football ("Gridiron Gang"), and the late Christopher Reeve‘s brainchild ("Everyone’s Hero"). What do the critics have to say?

Everyone is dressed to kill (Hilary Swank as a femme fatale!) in Brian De Palma‘s latest thriller "The Black Dahlia," but the movie is decidedly coming up snake eyes for critics. While his movie captures the tawdry atmosphere of the ’40s, the story is so convoluted and, in retrospect, so flimsy, the phrase "looks great, less filling" comes to mind. That several of the lead characters are miscast doesn’t help, either. Critics agree De Palma has overreached in his ambitious adaptation of James Ellroy’s novel, as "The Black Dahlia" currently sits at 44% on the Tomatometer.

The makings of a love triangle. Eckhart, Johansson, and Hartnett in "Black Dahlia."

Growing up is hard to do, but do they have to make yet another movie about it? That’s what critics are asking with "The Last Kiss," the English language remake of the Italian movie "L’Ultimo Bacio." Starring Zach Braff ("Garden State"), the movie follows four buddies in their late twenties at various stages of their lives. While the dialogue is particularly strong, courtesy of Oscar winner Paul Haggis ("Crash"), the movie brings nothing particularly new to its premise that hasn’t been done before, and better, in other movies such as Barry Levinson’s "Diner." "The Last Kiss" has a Tomatometer of 45%.

"Gridiron Gang" is one of those inspirational tales about triumphing over adversity that you’ve probably seen a million times, except this one stars former wrestler The Rock as the probation officer who reforms young criminals through football. The movie is as clichéd as you might expect, and most of the critics say the sappy nature of this tale, compounded by predictability, makes "Gridiron" (39% Tomatometer rating) a fumble.

Remember the Titans! The Gridiron gang after a victory.

"Everyone’s Hero," the animated tale directed partially by the late Christopher Reeve, has its heart in the right place, but critics say this bland cartoon won’t appeal to anyone besides tiny tots. It sits at 38% on the Tomatometer.

In Guess the Tomatometer for "The Covenant" last week, ‘havoc_012’ hit the bull’s-eye with a guess of 3%.

Recent De Palma Directed Movies:
49% — Femme Fatale (2002)
24% — Mission to Mars (2002)
33% — Snake Eyes (1998)
67% — Mission:Impossible (1996)

Recent The Rock Movies:
29% — Be Cool (2005)
19% — Doom (2005)
25% — Walking Tall (2004)
69% — The Rundown (2003)

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