Weekend Box Office

Critics Consensus: No Go for Speed Racer, Vegas Cashes Out

Also, Redbelt mostly hits its mark.

by | May 8, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got fast cars
(Speed Racer,

starring Emile
and Christina Ricci),
marital mishaps (What Happens in Vegas,
Ashton Kutcher and
Cameron Diaz),
and battle royals (David Mamet‘s
Chiwetel Ejiofor).
What do the critics have to say?

Sing along with me: “Here it comes, here comes
Speed Racer
/ It’s getting
bad reviews….” The critics say the Wachowski brothers’ big-screen adaptation of
the old-school toon is loaded with flashy visuals, but is too bombastic and
thinly plotted to resonate. Emile Hirsch stars as the titular hero, who, with
the support of main squeeze Trixie (Christina Ricci), battles it out it out with
Racer X (Matthew Fox) in a cross-county road race that Speed learns is being
unfairly influenced by corporate interests. The pundits say Speed Racer is
too loaded with eye-popping (some say headache-inducing) visuals and too short
on character development and coherent plotting. At 32 percent on the
Tomatometer, you may not want to go (Speed Racer) go to this one. (Check
this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down the greatest movie cars of
all time.)


How much mileage can a movie get out of the appeal of its stars? With regard to
What Happens in Vegas, the critics say quite a bit — though perhaps not
enough to deal this formulaic romantic comedy a winning hand.
Ashton Kutcher and
Cameron Diaz star as a pair of strangers who stumble into matrimony after
hitting the jackpot; what follows is a battle of the sexes and a tug-of-war over
the money. The pundits say Diaz and Kutcher display solid comedic chops, but are
let down by a predictable plot and a sour undercurrent. At 50 percent on the
Tomatometer, you have even odds of enjoying this one.

“I doubt that’s going to fit in the ATM slot.”

With a gift for cryptic language and complex characterization,
David Mamet is
one of America’s most celebrated playwrights. It turns out he’s also a big
martial arts fan. In
, Mamet’s passions collide, and critics say
it’s a solid, if not spectacular, combination.
Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as a
Jiu-Jitsu teacher who preaches self-defense; however, after an accident new his
school triggers a series of ominous events, he’s forced to step into the ring.
The pundits say Redbelt features many of the strengths of Mamet’s work:
strong acting (from a cast that includes Joe Mantegna,
Emily Mortimer, and
), intriguing moral dilemmas, and rich dialogue. But some say it’s a little
too tightly scripted to be fully believable. Still, at 64 percent, the scribes
say Redbelt hits pretty hard.

“For next year’s fundraiser, we should just have a cops vs. firemen
basketball game!”

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Refusnik, a documentary about longstanding activist efforts to help Jews
    in the Soviet Union, is at 100 percent.

  • Turn the River, starring
    Famke Janssen as a pool hustler working to get
    back the son she gave up at birth, is at 88 percent.

  • The Memory
    , starring Mark Webber and Rachel Miner in the tale of a man who
    becomes obsessed with the Holocaust, is at 86 percent.

  • Monster Camp,
    a doc about live action role playing, is at 83 percent.

  • OSS
    117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
    , a parody of espionage thrillers, is at 75

  • The Merchant-Ivory period drama,
    Before the
    , about a cross-cultural love affair in 1930s India, is at 50

  • Battle for
    , Nick Broomfield s chronicle of a dark campaign in the Iraq war,
    is at 44 percent.

  • Noise, starring Tim Robbins in a comedy about a man who loses it after
    being inundated with street sounds, is at 44 percent.

  • The French slasher import,
    , about
    a group of criminals who stumble into a house full of flesh-eaters, is at 43

  • The Tracey
    , starring
    Ellen Page in
    a dark comedy about a teenager searching for her brother, is at 40 percent.

  • The Fall, a fantasy film about strange goings-on in a Los Angeles
    hospital, is at 42 percent.

  • The Babysitters, starring
    John Leguizamo and Cynthia Nixon in comedy
    about a girl who stars a sitting/callgirl business, is at 34 percent.

“Patti Smith or Sonic Youth?”

Wachowski Brothers Movies:
37% — The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
73% — The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
86% — The Matrix (1999)
88% — Bound (1996)

Tag Cloud

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