July 22, 2018, - 11:32 pm

Wknd Box Office: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Equalizer 2, Unfriended: Dark Web

By Debbie Schlussel


This weekend’s new movies have two things in common: 1) they are all sequels, and2) I hated ’em all (though in varying degrees). Remember, you can hear my movie reviews most Fridays on “The Larry The Cable Guy Show” at around 10:35 a.m. Eastern on SiriusXM’s Jeff and Larry’s Comedy Roundup Channel 97 and every Friday on the Richard Dixon Show on Birmingham, Alabama’s Talk 99.5 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern and “The Mike Church Show” between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Eastern on the Veritas Radio Network.




* Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Rated PG-13 – My 2008 review of the absolutely execrable firsts Mamma Mia! movie is my favorite that I’ve ever written. It’s been 10 years and I still hear from readers about it.

Not sure why we needed to “go again.” This unnecessary sequel is a total bore and completely pointless, not to mention an absolute waste of time. My review of the first one pretty much applies to this retread. The only saving grace–and I use that term as loosely as possible–is that Pierce Brosnan’s attempted singing is kept to a near-whisper and is very limited. As I noted in my original review, hearing him try to sing is like hearing sheep being slaughtered–the stuff of high-quality Gitmo torture material. And I still can’t help but note how far this former James Bond has fallen.

The movie has no plot of note. The “story” is that the woman at the center of it all (Amanda Seyfried) is planning a grand re-opening of her late mother’s Greek island hotel and the weather is bad and ruins things, so she is worried about the party. Who cares? On top of that, we follow her later mother as a college graduate (Lily James) as she sleeps around with three different men she barely knows in a very short amount of time. The movie continues the conceit of the first movie–that Seyfried doesn’t know which of the men is her dad) to this movie, pretending as if the truth hasn’t ever been revealed. But it was–at the end of the first movie, making that part of the story stupid and purposeless, except to show us what we already know: that her mother was a shameless slut. Although you’re not allowed to say tht anymore because that would be “slut-shaming,” and we’re supposed to glorify the sluts these days. Anything less is “intolerant!”

The original Mamma Mia!, and presumably this one, are supposed to attract movie-goers in big part on the basis of the soundtrack of hits from the ’70s Swedish supergroup ABBA. But this second incarnation barely has any recognizable ABBA hits. I counted five of them, and the rest of the songs are lesser known bits from ABBA’s repertoire. Add to that a boring story that’s basically a rehash of something that didn’t need to be told even once, and you’ve got nothing–even with the two storylines, flashbacks, and vomiting into the script of a character played by Cher. Oh, and I almost forgot: this movie repeats the tired, oversexed, aging friend of Seyfried’s mother. As I always say, there’s nothing that can murder a movie more than dirty old women panting over men that, at least in real life, they’ll never get.

Um, no thanks.

THREE MARXES PLUS FOUR BETTY FRIEDANS PLUS TWO ISIS BEHEADINGS
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Watch the trailer. . .

* The Equalizer 2 – Rated R The first The Equalizer movie (read my review) wasn’t bad. This sequel isn’t.

And it’s got some of the same problems that plague the original–namely, would it kill them to make one nice White guy in the movie? And do all the White guys have to be evil villains (and, in stark racial lines, the Black guys all good)?

I did like the first scene of the movie, in which Denzel Washington as The Equalizer, tortures a group of Muslim Turks who’ve kidnapped one of their kids from the stupid blonde White American chick who copulated with one of them and reproduced. But it’s all downhill from there. And the movie goes out of its way to make sure we know that a Muslim chick who is one of Washington’s neighbors is an oppressed, peaceful lady who just wants to make a neighborhood garden. Aaaaw.

While the original The Equalizer movie has a tired plot involving the Russian mob, this one has an even more stale plotline, with the villains being former CIA operatives. Yaaawn. Come up with something new, Hollywood. Yup, because the men stalking the former CIA operative played by Washington would never, ever, ever, ever be Islamic terrorists. Ever. At least not in anything coming out from Hollywood, post 9-11.

On top of all that, the movie is just slow, long, and repetitive. Yes, there is the requisite action and killing of bad guys which is enjoyable. But it seems like empty calories, given the lame story.

The story: someone is killing several former and current CIA operatives who are all connected to Washington’s character. He sets out to find out who did it and why, so that he can stop them. He is now the target. Blah, blah, blah. I’m making it sound way better than it actually is.

Normally, I like Denzel Washington and think he’s a good actor. And, per usual, he’s likable in this, too. But it’s not enough to make it worth ten-bucks-plus and two hours of your time you’ll never get back.

Skipworthy.

ONE MARX
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Watch the trailer . . .

* Unfriended: The Dark Web – Rated R: I didn’t like the first installment of Unfriended (read my review), but this latest serving makes the original look like a masterpiece. This is a snuff film, plain and simple. Killing porn. Oh, and absolutely terrible acting. No wonder there are no names in this.

This is a small-budget money grab by some piece-of-crap “filmmakers” (I use that term very liberally here). And the movie is long, slow, boring, and repetitive. I struggled to stay awake during this garbage, and I lost the battle. Despite that–and I fell asleep twice during this–I missed nothing and wished I’d missed more of this ap-cray.

The “story”: several friends (it’s unclear if they know each other in person, but they are definitely friends online through Facebook and video chats) are online one night, trying to save each other from a horrible person they’ve come into contact with when one of them has contacted him through the “dark web.” One guy took a laptop that the dark web villain left behind somewhere. When he uses the laptop, he unlocks the dark web guy, who then sets out to murder all of his friends, including a deaf woman he is in love with.

We watch all of the movie and the killings unfold online through Facebook, video, and dark web chats. Stuff like that is always a gimmick meant to mask a very poor, weak script. And it’s distracting and hard to read and follow. Still, I followed it more than enough, and despite seeing so much killing and violence onscreen through my years of movie critiquing, I was still sickened and incredibly repulsed by the torturous, painful-to-watch cinematic screed with no point, other than to shock and give sick people bad ideas.

Please ignore this trash.

FOUR MARXES PLUS
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Watch the trailer . . .

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5 Responses

Thanks for the reviews. I saw The Circle recently and I didn’t like it as much as Debbie did. I thought is was overly simple and unrealistic in many ways, but thought that the points about privacy being taken away by companies like FB were very poignant.

I also 15:17 To Paris and it was excellent. It’s a must see movie.

Hillel on July 23, 2018 at 3:24 pm

I had bought the first Mamma Mia movie from the bargain bin at Walmart for $5.00. I couldn’t get through the first half of the movie . I tried to give it away .
NO ONE would take it, so I finally tossed it. It was total garbage.

Zgigi on July 23, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Zgigi I did you one better as I got the first Mamma Mia at Ollie’s for $2.00. I like you couldn’t watch it. Maybe it was because I first watched it around 10 pm and fell asleep having to wake up the next day at 4 am to go to work. Yeah that’s it…LOL! Anyway that crap fest is sitting in a box in the attic along with my VHS tapes.

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