UK Critics Consensus: The Wackness aint Wack, but Babylon Blows

Vin Diesel sinks while Ben Kingsley swims

by | August 29, 2008 | Comments

So the big movies out this week are Vin Diesel-powered Babylon A.D., yet another Judd Apatow-produced comedy about immature losers – Step Brothers with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly – and the 90s coming-of-age teen drama The Wackness, starring a bong-chugging, Olsen twin-snogging knight of the realm, Sir Ben Kingsley. What did the UK critics have to say?

Denounced by its director, the Vin Diesel sci-fi action flick Babylon A.D. flops into the cinema with UK critics mirroring the US critics’ response, pretty much universally denouncing it for its indecipherable plot, tacked on action sequences, and wholesale shameless plundering of sci-fi flicks Children of Men and Blade Runner. With the Tomatometer tallying the UK response, Babylon A.D. has shot from a pathetic 0% to a measly 7%. When one of the only positive review reads, “It’s utter codswallop, yet enjoyable if you unplug your brain.” (The Times), you know you’ve got a stinker on your hands.

Will Ferrell teams up with John C. Reilly again, and with their last effort Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby garnering a respectable 73% on the Tomatometer, the standards are set high, but can they repeat their success with Step Brothers? It’s had a mixed response from the UK scribes, with the general consensus being that if you like the relentless, absurd and puerile shtick peddled by Farrell and Reilly in Anchorman, Talledega Nights and Semi-Pro, then you’ll fall for Step Brothers too. On the other hand, if the sight of two grown men behaving like 12-year-olds, and sporting prosthetic testicles, seems a bit infantile to you, then steer well clear. Step Brothers is currently the black sheep of the family at 53% on the Tomatometer.

Is 1994 too recent to be considered a period piece? The critics didn’t think so with most UK critics rating The Wackness fresh, mainly for the ever-versatile Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of the bong-smoking, long haired, last hippy on the block, Dr Squires, but also for its touching and quirky story of adolescence and love in mid-90s New York. The performances save the movie from its meandering, and at times soppy, sauntering pace, and at 67% on the Tomatometer, it has just enough Dopeness to stop it truly being The Wackness.

Also worth checking out…
Badlands. Terrence Malick’s 1973 debut gets a limited re-release. This masterpiece is worth seeking out. Currently 100% on the Tomatometer.

Times and Winds. Lilting and meditative, Reha Erdem’s story of three adolescents in rural Turkey captivates with intimate details and long takes of the endless countryside. 83% on the Tomatometer.

Quote of the Week
“A sci-fi actioner that sees bald hero Vin Diesel back, stomping around the future like a small, gun-toting penis.”
Babylon A.D. – Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro.

Tag Cloud

Elton John die hard Fargo RT21 Shondaland streaming disaster MSNBC animated telelvision cancelled summer TV preview quibi action-comedy Star Wars Hallmark Christmas movies BBC adaptation 21st Century Fox obi wan festivals theme song CBS All Access strong female leads Classic Film Academy Awards cops hidden camera spider-verse IMDb TV South by Southwest Film Festival Stephen King saw 4/20 VICE CMT indie cancelled television Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Tokyo Olympics green book Black Mirror marvel cinematic universe serial killer 94th Oscars stoner YA TV heist movie travel anime 1990s Star Trek NBC The Arrangement WarnerMedia cars spanish Universal Pictures Writers Guild of America Chernobyl OWN docuseries Dark Horse Comics 72 Emmy Awards period drama ratings ITV Netflix Christmas movies witnail Christmas indiana jones Discovery Channel miniseries MTV ABC Lifetime Christmas movies Countdown Lifetime zero dark thirty gangster harry potter ViacomCBS Travel Channel crime drama Pop TV Musical Pride Month Fall TV Binge Guide Universal BET Awards dceu Creative Arts Emmys Tumblr WGN TCA Winter 2020 Rock scene in color TV Land Opinion Fox News dragons medical drama doctor who TCA 2017 Image Comics Sundance Now Fantasy anthology television international New York Comic Con parents venice BET tv talk Food Network E! Marvel Studios jurassic park book adaptation OneApp kids The Walking Dead comiccon streaming movies Baby Yoda Country crossover Turner First Look breaking bad new star wars movies olympics NYCC comic book movies Summer Calendar Mary poppins Election Super Bowl Pet Sematary Best and Worst Instagram Live Premiere Dates Action SXSW documentary CNN space 73rd Emmy Awards rotten movies we love mutant Amazon Prime Video summer TV Emmy Nominations VOD directors rom-coms blockbusters video on demand golden globes comic books DC Universe Sony Pictures discovery royal family feel good Columbia Pictures Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TCA Awards Spectrum Originals NBA TBS TV renewals psycho Adult Swim 71st Emmy Awards Year in Review First Reviews casting wonder woman Tomatazos scary movies cats YouTube Red franchise live action Bravo Acorn TV 45 Film Brie Larson pirates of the caribbean james bond Trailer Paramount Network elevated horror Pixar concert comic book movie historical drama Vudu Fox Searchlight 2015 24 frames The Academy monster movies Disney streaming service latino natural history 2021 Amazon Studios Apple TV Plus Apple TV+ Captain marvel stop motion cancelled TV shows Television Critics Association BBC America Oscars new york adenture History San Diego Comic-Con Paramount Pacific Islander Mary Poppins Returns American Society of Cinematographers sports video Kids & Family 99% debate Best Actress deadpool emmy awards prank TCA Marathons cancelled TV series politics Watching Series australia political drama Exclusive Video Thanksgiving japan vampires See It Skip It Quiz Legendary name the review fresh biography Syfy Music comedies Emmys Cartoon Network zombies cults police drama kong TCM Ellie Kemper Turner Classic Movies Martial Arts Anna Paquin Hallmark superhero renewed TV shows ESPN Valentine's Day dramedy fast and furious Pirates Polls and Games aapi Black History Month sequel independent USA Network teaser halloween MCU 2017 child's play comic Cannes rotten vs. The Walt Disney Company Avengers Comic-Con@Home 2021 Sci-Fi ID singing competition Reality Competition Pop National Geographic critics aliens GLAAD batman asian-american hist summer preview trophy Best Director SundanceTV Certified Fresh 79th Golden Globes Awards joker Toys 2019 Song of Ice and Fire razzies Winter TV rt labs crime thriller scorecard black criterion mission: impossible cooking sopranos Ovation screen actors guild binge young adult docudrama thriller worst 93rd Oscars Interview Set visit TV movies Disney Channel Awards Tour Trivia children's TV spider-man news LGBT Rocky cinemax Paramount Plus award winner archives Epix Masterpiece 2020 sequels AMC Plus Comic Book Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Neflix Hear Us Out book IFC romantic comedy Comics on TV GoT Schedule Crunchyroll Disney+ Disney Plus foreign critic resources HBO Go nbcuniversal Rocketman Television Academy Cosplay finale Nominations spinoff sag awards MGM Crackle Amazon Prime war unscripted what to watch dc Endgame all-time popular high school legend toy story blaxploitation E3 USA scary based on movie football Red Carpet VH1 new zealand Marvel DC Comics halloween tv diversity TV One ghosts psychological thriller El Rey robots dark Nat Geo Logo live event Disney Plus PaleyFest spanish language A&E rt labs critics edition rt archives Rom-Com Film Festival Sneak Peek ABC Signature kaiju Showtime SXSW 2022 Grammys slasher IFC Films supernatural Funimation hispanic Mindy Kaling posters Spike Extras Hulu spy thriller AMC suspense DGA Disney trailers Winners Lucasfilm Amazon FX worst movies werewolf obituary Lionsgate laika Holiday king kong leaderboard Spring TV 90s movie Walt Disney Pictures CW Seed boxing FOX richard e. Grant Oscar art house game show transformers Prime Video TNT remakes classics Biopics godzilla superman free movies mcc Women's History Month APB sitcom justice league Mudbound social media Ghostbusters DirecTV Esquire CBS HBO Max Awards Tags: Comedy canceled YouTube Premium dreamworks Infographic The CW Netflix HFPA Shudder mockumentary cartoon TruTV BAFTA adventure Mary Tyler Moore marvel comics Podcast Nickelodeon Wes Anderson nature Best Picture Superheroes chucky Comedy Central women TLC SDCC LGBTQ Character Guide DC streaming service game of thrones basketball Holidays documentaries films reviews 007 comics YouTube 2016 series target Apple Marvel Television Animation Sundance TV french TIFF Box Office FX on Hulu Best Actor Reality best 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards twilight BBC One HBO technology versus science fiction dogs toronto The Purge Sundance Photos christmas movies RT History Alien Warner Bros. Mystery Family festival spain Tubi 20th Century Fox mob blockbuster boxoffice facebook biopic Musicals PlayStation 2018 ABC Family A24 Peacock Starz romance Superheroe hollywood reboot screenings hispanic heritage month golden globe awards composers The Witch Broadway movies talk show Horror Western PBS nfl revenge japanese genre Freeform Heroines jamie lee curtis streamig crime Britbox Tarantino stand-up comedy canceled TV shows a nightmare on elm street dexter south america black comedy true crime FXX Drama know your critic satire Video Games zombie Trophy Talk lord of the rings italian X-Men Teen Arrowverse slashers Comedy GIFs universal monsters king arthur