This week at the movies features two of our favorite story elements: demonic possession ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose") and fish-out-of-water-cop-buddy-action stuff ("The Man"). Will the critics see the light, or is it off to the slammer for these two?
Nothing adds spice to a story quite like demonic possession; people are still talking about the time on "Days of Our Lives" when Marlenea was infected by Satan for close to a whole season. So how about a courtroom drama in which the bad guy is the Prince of Darkness himself? Well that’s what they tried to do with "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," and the scribes are split as to whether it works. While some have praised the film (which stars Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson) for its sincere questions about the nature of belief, others say it is unable to sustain a coherent tone and suffers in comparison to the granddaddy of all demonic possession flicks, "The Exorcist." At 48 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Rose" isn’t smelling so sweet.
Ever get the idea that some movies are greenlit simply because someone thought, "Dude, that sounds like it might be mildly amusing!" That seems to describe "The Man," a buddy action comedy, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy, that critics say does absolutely nothing to transcend its premise. The plot involves a dental supply salesman (Levy) who wanders into a drug investigation headed by Jackson; as one would expect, Jackson plays a man who does not suffer fools gladly, and Levy plays a loveable fool. At 23 percent on the Tomatometer, the critics say this "Man" is a dog: predictable, uninspired, and utterly average.
Recent Samuel L. Jackson Movies:
15% — XXX: State of the Union (2005)
82% — Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
64% — Coach Carter (2005)
24% — In My Country (2005)
97% — Incredibles (2004)