Despite poor reviews this mob spoof tops the UAE charts
Time Out staff
10 Riddick Director: David Twohy Stars: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Jordi Mollà, Dave Bautista, Bokeem Woodbine, Raoul Trujillo
A surprise hit on its release in 2000, Pitch Black was touted to kick-off an original sci-fi franchise, and launch Vin Diesel into the Hollywood stratosphere. Sequel The Chronicles of Riddick sputtered on arrival though, while Diesel struggled to establish himself just as the traditional macho tough guys in Hollywood action films were starting to go out of fashion. With Riddick, Diesel – also acting as producer – is trying to inject new life into the series that made his name. The plot, with its inter-planetary combat between Necromongers and Furya, sounds more Battlefield Earth than Star Wars or Blade Runner, but this could provide some pared-back genre appeal à la Dredd last September. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs185,341 Weekly admissions: 4,621 Total box office: Dhs3,911,140 Total admissions: 97,096
9 2 Guns Director: Baltasar Kormákur Stars: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, Fred Ward, James Marsden, Edward James Olmos
In this star vehicle for Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, the headlights are on full beam but the engine is struggling in second gear. Some will welcome the very notion of an old-school cop movie which hasn’t been CGI-ed up the creek, but they’d welcome it even more if it had a plot we cared about and fresher car chases, shootouts and punch-ups. In Tex-Mex territory teeming with crime cartels, Washington and Wahlberg choose the wrong bank to rob. Complications escalate to a tiresome degree, leeching the fun from the movie, which is slung together with cold competence by Icelandic maverick Baltasar Kormákur (101 Reykjavik). Final tally: 30 mins absolutely primo banter, 80 mins gubbins. Occasionally fun, but those numbers don’t quite add up. Trevor Johnston
Weekly box office: Dhs236,602 Weekly admissions: 6,552 Total box office: Dhs5,704,603 Total admissions: 139,809
8 Aftershock Director: Nicolás López Stars: Eli Roth, Ariel Levy, Nicolás Martínez, Andrea Osvárt, Lorenza Izzo, Marcial Tagle, Ramón Llao
The set-up is primo: An American known only as Gringo (Eli Roth) and his Spanish-speaking pals are on a tour of Chile. It’s a hedonistic succession of discotheque evenings before, after 30 minutes of intriguing character development. Gringo is a divorced father with self-confidence issues; his frat-house buddies have similarly complicated shades – everyone gathers at a nightclub where a massive earthquake brings the walls tumbling down onto that poor girl with the Wu-Tang Clan tattoo.
It’s at this point director Nicolás López’s slick shocker turns into an unholy combination of disaster film and slasher flick. The tectonic shift brings the city to a standstill, empties a jail full of psychotic prisoners onto the streets, and unleashes – as a Gabriel’s-trumpet-like siren warns – a towering tsunami slowly making its way to shore. As Gringo & Co wander around looking for safety – Andrea Osvárt’s prudish Monica turns out to be the movie’s unwitting heroine – they are subjected to the kind of indignities you expect in a Roth-headlined feature (he also co-wrote and produced). Each character’s suffering, be it the loss of a hand or a terribly prolonged assault, is lingered over with sniggering intimacy, until a jokey moment of death (open a manhole, get slammed by a car) frees us of any need to view them as human. People become mere punch lines: fleshy avatars for the gory offerings. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs405,835 Weekly admissions: 11,228 Total box office: Dhs405,835 Total admissions: 11,228
7 Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Director: Thor Freudenthal Stars: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Douglas Smith, Leven Rambin, Jake Abel, Anthony Head
In theory, the idea of populating one of history’s greatest imaginative landscapes with the cast of America’s Brattiest Teens isn’t so crazy. Put a filmmaker with some wit in charge – Joss Whedon springs to mind – and the result could be a charming clash of cultures. Sadly, no-one involved with Sea of Monsters seems to possess much humour: this is a witless, heartless, imagination-free slice of kiddy bait.
We find our half-Greek-god hero (Lerman) at a rustic summer camp for the cast-off children of Olympian deities – imagine an austerity-slashed Hogwarts. But when this mythic holiday camp comes under attack from a pack of preening prep-school types, Percy is forced to seek out the Golden Fleece. There’s really nothing to recommend Sea of Monsters: the young cast are smug and forgettable; the action sequences barely get going before they’re over; and the whole affair is riddled with product placement and pop cultural references – one girl even seems to possess a magic iPad. Keep the kids at home. Tom Huddleston
Weekly box office: Dhs675,788 Weekly admissions: 15,702 Total box office: Dhs2,222,744 Total admissions: 49,003
6 We're the Millers Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly C. Quinn
The problem with writing an accurate review of We’re The Millers is not trying to interpret the subtle nuances of Jennifer Aniston’s performance. Nor is it offering an informed critique of the film’s thoroughly American brand of multiplex humour. It’s simply finding a way to write about the movie that wouldn’t make your grandmother balk with embarrassment, or your grandfather unleash a torrent against modern-day morality.
David (Sudeikis) is something of a failed entrepreneur, peddling a particular product to the same clients he has had since he was in college. His neighbour Rose (Aniston), well let’s just say she works in a bar. When David is robbed by some teens, he’s left owing the kingpin of his supply chain big-time – and is asked (okay, forced) to take a trip to Mexico in comeuppance. He decides his expedition will attract less heat if he poses as a Middle American family going on their summer hols, and so grabs the neighbourhood teen dork (Will Poulter) and a homeless waif (Emma Roberts, yep, Julia’s niece), and hits the road in a lumbering motor home that provides their cover.
This central conceit is pure silliness, and what follows comes comfortably from the school of farce. But there’s enough brains to lift this above your typical post-Hangover road trip gross-out, and despite some misfires of taste, the script is littered with genuine laugh out loud moments. But what puts this a cut above the obvious is a great supporting cast – Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn make the movie as the fellow family of road-trippers they encounter – and the human beating heart at its core. There’s something resembling chemistry between Aniston and Sudeikis, and when the journey ends inevitably with Hollywood idealism, it feels like the satisfying conclusion of a familiar homecoming, rather than another road trip down Hackneyed Avenue. Rob Garratt
Weekly box office: Dhs682,835 Weekly admissions: 16,270 Total box office: Dhs3,747,355 Total admissions: 89,079
5 Getaway Director: Courtney Solomon Stars: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight, Rebecca Budig, Paul Freeman, Bruce Payne, Velislav Pavlov, Dejan Angelov
Speaking over the phone, a mysterious villain (Voight, seen primarily in mouth close-ups) orders former racing superstar Brent Magna (Hawke) to steal an armoured hot rod and, with said vehicle’s owner (Gomez) in tow, complete a series of daredevil missions if he ever wants to see his kidnapped wife again. That sort of ludicrous premise should be ripe for outrageous B-movie thrills. Unfortunately, this genre cheapie – no relation to the Jim Thompson novel of a similar name or its 1972 Steve McQueen-Sam Peckinpah adaptation – is, despite a constant focus on auto mayhem, a lumbering dud incapable of getting out of first gear.
Civilians are put in harm’s way. Fireballs are escaped. Beaucoup cop cruisers are flipped. Yet director Courtney Solomon pours on the surveillance-cam POVs and edits his set pieces so manically that reckless thrills are sabotaged. That’s a near-fatal flaw, as Getaway cares little about plot and even less about credibility (cue a pouty-mouthed Gomez spouting nuggets of wisdom about computer servers and ISPs). If you can’t even deliver blatant car-nography, what’s the point? Nick Schager
Weekly box office: Dhs760,558 Weekly admissions: 19,227 Total box office: Dhs2,902,150 Total admissions: 72,238
4 Battle of the Year Director: Benson Lee Stars: osh Holloway, Laz Alonso, Josh Peck, Caity Lotz, Chris Brown, Ivan 'Flipz' Velez, Jesse 'Casper' Brown, Sawandi Wilson
Director Benson Lee struck gold with his documentary following various breakdance crews as they prepared for and competed in the 2005 Battle Of The Year – so much so that he was given the go-ahead for a feature-length drama based around the same contest. Chris Parker and Brin Hill are on scripting duties while Josh Holloway (Lost), Josh Peck (Mean Creek) and Laz Alonso (Straw Dogs) lead the cast in a story about an American crew heading to France for the championships. The title has undergone a couple of changes, but the original name, ‘Planet B-Boy’, has been officially junked in favour of its current, rather unwieldy moniker. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs828,581 Weekly admissions: 19,610 Total box office: Dhs828,581 Total admissions: 19,610
3 Planes Director: Klay Hall Stars: Carlos Alazraqui, Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Priyanka Chopra, John Cleese
This simple, amiable Disney animation is a spin-off from Pixar’s Cars films and, like them, features no humans at all – just talking planes with big eyes and grins, as well as the odd truck and train. It’s an endearing enough David-and-Goliath tale, aimed squarely at younger kids, as small town, crop-dusting plane Dusty (Dane Cook) leaves behind the day job to enter a global aerial race that takes him from the US to Iceland, from India to Mexico. Dusty is assisted by some long time mechanical buddies and coached by a retired warplane. His fellow contestants include Bulldog (Cleese), a Brit with a stiff upper nose cone, and Ripslinger, a sly American who can’t bear the thought of being beaten by Dusty. Planes isn’t a Pixar film, even if it’s related to one (Disney bought Pixar in 2006), and there’s nothing groundbreaking about the animation or script. That said, the characters and story still offer low-key charms. David Calhoun
Weekly box office: Dhs1,006,027 Weekly admissions: 24,742 Total box office: Dhs2,566,884 Total admissions: 61,201
French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve has followed up his Oscar-nominated film Incendies with two English-language pictures starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Prisoners, an abduction thriller with a script placed on Hollywood’s coveted Black List, is the first of these to arrive on our shores. Hugh Jackman stars as an ordinary dad whose two daughters are suddenly abducted after a family lunch. Gyllenhaal, in an echo of his role in Zodiac, plays the detective on the case, but Jackman isn’t satisfied with his findings, and investigates the disappearances himself in vigilante mode. Villeneuve showed a nifty hand with a plot twist in Incendies, and looks in control of the melancholic elements, being well-assisted by British cinematography ace Roger Deakins’ atmospheric lensing. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs1,311,179 Weekly admissions: 31,932 Total box office: Dhs1,311,179 Total admissions: 31,932
1 Malavita: The Family Director: Luc Besson Stars: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron, John D'Leo, Tommy Lee Jones, Jimmy Palumbo, Vincent Pastore
The Robert De Niro self-mockery train keeps on rolling! Everyone’s favourite Tribeca restaurant owner plays a New York mafioso boss hiding out in Normandy, France, along with his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) and family, courtesy of the witness-protection program. The quiet life doesn’t suit the clan, however, as they can’t stop indulging their degenerate impulses, be it Dad clubbing anyone who faintly disrespects him, Mom blowing up a grocery store run by rabid anti-Americans or their precociously criminal-minded kids scamming their schoolmates with vicious abandon.
Director Luc Besson treats his protagonists as likable cartoons yet never provides a single reason to view them as anything less than remorseless, repugnant psychos. That’s merely one of many missteps in this lurching misfire, which wastes copious time on mirthless bantering with a cantankerous government agent (Tommy Lee Jones) before a finale that abruptly trades jokey comedy for violent shoot-outs. Such tone-deafness still isn’t nearly as dismal as De Niro’s tired spoofery of his iconic onscreen mob persona, which – culminating with his expat admiringly watching Goodfellas – is now in dire need of a whacking. Nick Schager Weekly box office: Dhs1,922,581 Weekly admissions: 44,945 Total box office: Dhs1,922,581 Total admissions: 44,945