This week at the movies, we’ve got a getaway driver (The Transporter Refueled, starring Ed Skrein and Ray Stevenson) and some bumbling hikers (A Walk in the Woods, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte). What do the critics have to say?
It’s rare — though not unprecedented — for a movie franchise to successfully reboot without its signature star — take Mad Max, for example. Unfortunately, critics say The Transporter Refueled could really benefit from the presence of Jason Statham; without him, the caper plotline and occasionally decent stuntwork feel thoroughly generic. This time out, Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) is hired as a wheelman for a daring, mysterious heist; as insurance, his employers kidnap Martin’s father. Vehicular and bodily mayhem ensue. The pundits say The Transporter Refueled has all the trappings of a sleek action film and little of the spark, which doesn’t bode well for potential future entries in the series.
A Walk in the Woods sounds almost foolproof: take two great actors, and send them on a hike in a scenic locale. Critics say the film works best when it sticks to those basic elements, but it’s also padded with sitcommy gags and a bit too much schmaltz. Based on Bill Bryson’s bestseller, the film stars Redford as a man in the midst of an emotional malaise, so he enlists an old friend to join him for a hike of the Appalachian Mountain Trail, where they meet all sorts of interesting characters. The pundits say A Walk In The Woods is pleasant but predictable, ambling about without ever arriving at a truly memorable destination.
What’s Hot on TV
Mr. Robot is a suspenseful cyber-thriller with timely stories and an intriguing, provocative premise.
Narcos lacks sympathetic characters, but pulls in the viewer with solid acting and a story that’s fast-paced enough to distract from its familiar outline.
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release
- Number One Fan (2014) , a black comedy about a woman whose obsession with a rock star gets her into serious trouble, is at 100 percent.
- A Sinner in Mecca (2015) , a documentary about a gay Muslim on his pilgrimage, is at 100 percent.
- Blind (2014) , a drama about a recently-blinded novelist whose imaginative flights of fantasy quickly devolve into paranoia and fear, is at 97 percent.
- Creep (2014) , starring Mark Duplass in a thriller about a filmmaker who is hired to film a day in the life of a very eccentric man, is at 95 percent.
- The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015) , a documentary about the history of the radical civil rights organization, is at 95 percent.
- Dope (2015) , starring Shameik Moore and Zoë Kravitz in a comedy about a bookworm who winds up in possession of a bag full of drugs, is Certified Fresh at 87 percent.
- The Golden Dream (2013) , a drama about four Guatemalan teenagers making a dangerous trek through Mexico in order to emigrate to America, is at 89 percent.
- Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine (2015) , Alex Gibney‘s documentary portrait of the Apple founder, is at 73 percent.
- Break Point (2014) , starring Jeremy Sisto and J.K. Simmons in a comedy about a tennis pro who recruits his estranged brother to be his doubles partner, is at 67 percent.
- Dragon Blade (2015) , starring Jackie Chan and John Cusack in a historical action epic about Chinese and Roman soldiers teaming up to stave off an invasion, is at 39 percent.
- Dirty Weekend (2015) , starring Alice Eve and Matthew Broderick in a dramedy about two work colleagues who attempt to make the most of a layover, is at 24 percent.
- Before We Go (2014) , starring Chris Evans and Alice Eve in a romantic dramedy about two strangers who trek around New York in an attempt to get their lives in order, is at 13 percent.
- Chloe & Theo (2015) , starring Dakota Johnson in a drama about a woman who joins an Inuit man in an environmental campaign, is at zero percent.