Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Vice," "Ant Bully" Are OK; "Tucker," "Scoop" Lack Laughs; "Little Miss" Shines

by | July 27, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, Crockett and Tubbs are back on the beat ("Miami Vice," starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx); an ant bully gets cut down to size ("The Ant Bully"); John Tucker must die ("John Tucker Must Die"); Woody Allen’s got a hot new scoop ("Scoop"); and a Sundance crowd-pleaser ("Little Miss Sunshine") hits theaters. What do the critics have to say?

"High concept" was a buzzword for Hollywood in the 1980s, and virtually nothing embodied that idea more than "Miami Vice," which creator Michael Mann has described as "MTV Cops." Crockett and Tubbs became synonymous for a certain type of glamorous, slightly campy crime fighting that was nonetheless thoroughly engaging. Twenty years later, the film version takes a much darker approach; Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx are deep undercover in a gritty film that’s more like Mann’s "Heat" than "Starsky and Hutch." Maybe that’s the problem; while critics say "Miami Vice" looks terrific and features some outstanding action scenes, they also note that the film is a bit too self-serious and much too long. It currently stands at 55 percent on the Tomatometer, and it’s Mann’s worst-reviewed film since 1983’s "The Keep" (Heard of it? Yeah, me neither).

"Perhaps you’d understand it better/ Standin’ in my shoes/ It’s the ultimate enticement/ It’s the smuggler’s blues."

How’s this for a dream cast? Nicolas Cage, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti, and Bruce Campbell star in "The Ant Bully," the latest CGI spectacle for the kids. "The Ant Bully" tells the story of a 10-year-old boy who takes out his frustrations on anthills, but subsequently finds himself shrunk down to ant-size, where adventures ensue and he learns a thing about life. The critics say the film is visually remarkable, but lacks originality and a strong narrative. It currently stands at 48 percent on the Tomatometer.


"Run for your lives!"

Missing the mark by a long shot is the romantic vengeance comedy, "John Tucker Must Die," a teen sex laffer about a three-timing lothario ("Desperate Housewives" junk Jesse Metcalfe) and the trio of girlfriends (a cheerleader, a hippie, and a brainiac) out to get him. Critics say that a few too many sight gags and clunky jabs at pop culture savvy make "Tucker" unwatchable for anyone over the age of thirteen; even then, they say it’s one of the better teen flicks to come around of late. Take from that what you will. At 25 percent on the Tomatometer, "Tucker" is far too aptly titled.


"John Tucker Must Die": A movie in dire need of conflict resolution.

News flash! Rumors of Woody Allen‘s career resurgence may have been greatly exaggerated. The scribes say his latest, "Scoop," is more than a little disappointing in the wake of last year’s Certified Fresh "Match Point." Like that one, "Scoop" is set in London, stars Scarlett Johansson, and there’s a murder at the center of the plot. But "Scoop" is a comedy, and an unsuccessful one at that; critics say it relies way too much on hackneyed schtick. At 39 percent on the Tomatometer, "Scoop" is looking like yesterday’s news. And it’s one of the worst-reviewed films of Allen’s great career.


"Little Miss Sunshine": The weakest street gang ever.

"Little Miss Sunshine" was a big hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and now that it’s hitting the theaters, the scribes are just as enthusiastic as the folks in Park City. This tale of a dysfunctional family hitting the road for a child pageant is Certified Fresh, and features sharp performances from its ensemble cast, particularly Greg Kinnear and Steve Carell. At 94 percent, this one’s a ray of "Sunshine." And it’s the third-best reviewed film of the year with 40 reviews or more. (Check out RT’s interview with co-directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton here.)

Also out this week in limited release: The idiosyncratic doc "I Like Killing Flies" is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer; "Brothers of the Head," to our knowledge the only mockumentary about a pair of Siamese twins who are lead singers of a fictitious 1970s punk band, is at 87 percent; the French thriller "13 (Tzameti)," about a Georgian immigrant in France, is at 87 percent; "The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover," a documentary about the last days of celebrated photographer O. Winston Link, is at 80 percent; "Darshan – The Embrace," a doc about one of India’s most famous spiritual guides, is at 44 percent; "Another Gay Movie," an "American Pie"-style comedy, is at 33 percent; and the muckraking Libertarian documentary "America: Freedom to Fascism" is at zero percent.

The Best Reviewed Films Of 2006 With 40 Or More Reviews:
—————————————————————————–
1. Kekexili (98%)
2. Wordplay (95%)
3. Little Miss Sunshine (94%)
4. Fateless (94%)
5. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (93%)

Recent TV- To- Film Adaptations:
—————————————–
49% — Strangers with Candy (2006)
10% — Aeon Flux (2005)
80% — Serenity (2005)
15% — The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
25% — Bewitched (2005)

Recent CG Animated Films
———————————-
70% — Monster House (2006)
76% — Cars (2006)
75% — Over the Hedge (2006)
58% — Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
19% — The Wild (2006)

Worst Reviewed Woody Allen Films (As Star Or Director)
————————————————————————-
29% — Scenes from a Mall (1991)
32% — Casino Royale (1967)
38% — Don’t Drink the Water (1994)
38% — Celebrity (1998)
40% — King Lear (1987)

Tag Cloud

Superheroes Awards IFC Mary Poppins Returns Paramount composers Rock docudrama Lifetime 2017 discovery Star Trek Nat Geo sitcom jamie lee curtis Hulu Reality HBO LGBT series Dark Horse Comics Photos VH1 Valentine's Day Red Carpet Fall TV Freeform Walt Disney Pictures Video Games Writers Guild of America Cartoon Network singing competition Shudder cats sports period drama Chernobyl Spring TV E3 cops golden globes historical drama Brie Larson Quiz Calendar USA Network witnail theme song sequel Shondaland anthology Rocketman HBO Max Premiere Dates TLC Film Polls and Games Starz true crime kids Food Network Western Mary poppins Rom-Com green book Tomatazos Disney Channel Set visit TV The Arrangement DGA Masterpiece San Diego Comic-Con Disney streaming service Oscars anime Drama Musicals tv talk nature Thanksgiving Christmas Logo Heroines Sneak Peek binge FOX psycho aliens PBS ESPN Summer See It Skip It NBC Super Bowl Paramount Network Netflix dramedy crime thriller Biopics FXX Amazon boxoffice mockumentary El Rey SXSW PaleyFest TCA 2017 RT History 2016 Bravo strong female leads Creative Arts Emmys Reality Competition Pixar MTV 20th Century Fox biography Nickelodeon medical drama adventure Pirates TIFF Holidays CBS Disney dragons Pet Sematary crime drama justice league Spike Opinion award winner Character Guide social media Spectrum Originals Emmy Nominations Fantasy Martial Arts facebook DirecTV Ghostbusters cooking YouTube Premium Epix Trophy Talk WarnerMedia GIFs dceu Sci-Fi Emmys VICE Horror mutant Captain marvel CBS All Access Tarantino ratings harry potter Extras 007 spy thriller casting Apple TNT Lucasfilm 2019 streaming BET Esquire Pride Month political drama cinemax Stephen King Musical Countdown Britbox CMT BBC A&E Winners AMC Superheroe spider-man GoT Box Office YA American Society of Cinematographers Showtime WGN game show Elton John finale supernatural Women's History Month Family YouTube Red animated revenge Comics on TV dc Grammys hist Vudu quibi Music First Look Binge Guide Rocky adaptation Marathons cults SundanceTV Anna Paquin doctor who festivals Trivia Amazon Prime Video TruTV Acorn TV DC Comics 2015 robots Comedy Central TV Land Certified Fresh politics Tumblr Animation Mudbound MSNBC Lionsgate 24 frames Marvel The CW movies zero dark thirty TCM Pop spinoff teaser Nominations talk show Black Mirror crossover transformers unscripted Comedy Universal Winter TV X-Men romance Sony Pictures Country technology MCU Mary Tyler Moore comiccon Film Festival what to watch DC Universe NYCC ABC Family television 21st Century Fox Syfy Podcast 2018 elevated horror Schedule diversity Teen SDCC Trailer Columbia Pictures GLAAD CW Seed Sundance Now DC streaming service Best and Worst based on movie natural history Star Wars richard e. Grant CNN Crackle OWN Sundance Watching Series Election miniseries police drama zombie Mystery ITV children's TV Cosplay Comic Book book Year in Review RT21 New York Comic Con vampires war President zombies blaxploitation Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Adult Swim disaster Ovation Mindy Kaling comic ghosts FX cars science fiction IFC Films Infographic Cannes travel TBS Warner Bros. Amazon Prime ABC TCA thriller Toys E! psychological thriller crime The Witch serial killer USA BBC America LGBTQ Interview toy story Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Kids & Family 45 Action Song of Ice and Fire APB Ellie Kemper Awards Tour space Fox News History National Geographic