An incompetent French detective ("The Pink Panther"). Eight million ways to die ("Final Destination 3"). Harrison Ford looking frantic, then looking really, really mad ("Firewall"). The Man in the Yellow Hat ("Curious George"). It could only be one thing: this week’s wide releases!
Steve Martin and Shawn Levy have some pretty big shoes to fill — namely, Peter Sellers‘ and Blake Edwards‘ — with their revival of "The Pink Panther." And critics say that, to quote Inspector Clouseau, they have failed where others have succeeded. The new film is a prequel to the famed series; the French government can’t find a master detective, so Jacques Clouseau is recruited to solve a murder. Critics say the movie isn’t all that bad, but Martin, funny as he is, is not Sellers, who broke the mold for the character. At 31 percent on the Tomatometer, this is one is a "beumbe."
"Final Destination" fans, you know the drill: A group of kids didn’t get on a plane that exploded, thereby cheating death, so therefore, death, in the form of Rube Goldberg, is out to get them. It’s amazing that they’ve made three movies that began with such a premise. What’s even more amazing is the fact that, according to the scribes, they keep getting better. "Final Destination 3" is currently at 52 percent on the Tomatometer (the original: 31 percent; the sequel: 46 percent). Still, the scribes say this one doesn’t quite transcend the genre.
Is there anyone in the movies who’s better at looking frantic than Harrison Ford? And is there anyone who’s played more characters defending their families from danger? "Firewall" tells the story of a bank security expert who must rescue his wife and child from a ruthless kidnapper. Despite a high-tech update to the formula, critics say this shopworn thriller is more dour and less energetic than similar efforts. At 30 percent on the Tometometer, critics say to block this "Firewall."
There’s something we’ve been curious about_: Would animated features ever return to a simpler, gentler tone, jettisoning non-stop antics and pop culture references? The answer is yes, and it comes in the form of everyone’s favorite inquisitive simian, "Curious George." The critics say the sheer joyful modesty of this enterprise is one of its best qualities, and the crisp 2-D animation is bright and colorful. At 74 percent on the Tomatometer, this one’s looking like a winner, by "George."
Recent Harrison Ford Movies:
30% — Hollywood Homicide (2003)
61% — K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)
92% — Apocalypse Now: Redux (2001)
45% — What Lies Beneath (2000)
19% — Random Hearts (1999)