UK Critics Consensus: Writers Warm to Madagascar 2; UK Critics Liked Lakeview Terrace

Plus, The Stath Stumbles In Transporter 3; The Children Chills

by | December 5, 2008 | Comments

With thirteen new releases in the UK cinemas this weekend, let Rotten Tomatoes help you sort the tinsel from the turkeys. We have animals on the loose in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, and Samuel L Jackson on the loose as a crazed LA cop in Lakeview Terrace. Also out this week is Transporter 3 starring Britain’s favourite action export, Jason ‘The Stath’ Statham, and British winter horror flick, The Children, bringing scares aplenty to the UK screens. But what did the local critics have to say?

Despite only achieving a measly 55% on the Tomatometer, the first Madagascar film was a huge commercial success, and so paved the way for the inevitable sequel. But does the law of diminishing returns apply to the sequel, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa? Currently standing at a Fresh 62% on the Tomatometer it would seem that the film has bucked the trend, with many critics succumbing to its improved animation and more consistent humour, though most of the scribes agreed the film will please more kids than adults. But hey, this is an animation, with zoo animals as the principal characters, so what did they expect?

Lakeview Terrace tells the story of a young middle class couple who move into a seemingly normal neighbourhood, only to be terrorised by their next door neighbour, who just happens to be the sociopathic racist cop Abel Turner, played with bristling menace by Samuel L Jackson. Released in the US back in September, the film was largely passed over by the critics, resulting in a lowly 44% on the Tomatometer. The films seems to have received a better response here in the UK, with 14 of the 17 reviews collated today being positive, meaning the UK-only Tomatometer rating would have been a much Fresher 82%.

Maybe the hard-hitting portrayal of interracial tension in middle-class Los Angeles was a little too close to the bone for the US critics to take Lakeview Terrace into their hearts? The UK critics all agreed that this was Samuel L Jackson’s best role for some time with Tim Evans of Sky Movies saying, “After multiplex clinkers like Jumper and Cleaner, Lakeview Terrace does give Jackson somewhere to move that actually brings the house down.” The film currently stands at a healthier, but still not Fresh, 49% on the Tomatometer.

With Madagascar 2 outshining its predecessor, does this week’s other sequel (or rather threequel) Transporter 3 also manage to outdo Frank Martin’s previous outings? Well, with each respective Transporter receiving 53%, 50% and now 36% for 3, even Jason Statham cannot save the latest from a Rotten rating, although, critical success is probably not something the makers of this franchise care too much for, as they still seem to make a boatload of cash regardless. The UK critics do love Statham though, with most praising his high octane action sequences and deadpan delivery with Rich Cline of Shadows On The Wall website summing it up by saying:

“Besson and Kamen somehow make a film that’s even dumber than part 2, which really takes some doing. But they’ve still got the superbly watchable Statham at the centre, so the script is fairly irrelevant.”

The Children is a home-grown British horror, in which Christmas holidays turn into a nightmare as all the children become infected with a virus turning them into blood thirsty terrors. The film currently stands at a Fresh 67% on the Tomatometer, with critics praising the chilling tension, killer set-pieces and effective suspense throughout, meaning The Children is worthy addition to the genre, and marks director Tom Shankland out as a future star of the UK film industry.

Quote Of The Week

“Tragedies strike and life lessons are learnt, homespun wisdom is dispensed. It’s simplistic to the point of total idiocy.”

The Secret Life Of Bees. Wendy Ide, The Times.

Tag Cloud

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