New in Theaters: ‘The Expendables 3,’ ‘The Giver,’ ‘Let’s Be Cops’

The Giver

This weekend brings an interesting mix of new releases to theaters—we have some tongue-in-cheek mindless action, some young-adult dystopian literature-turned-film, and a risqué buddy cop comedy (sort of). The good news: a wide spectrum of genres that would normally attract lots of moviegoers. The bad news: not one of the new releases is getting good reviews, which may scare any moviegoers away.

First up on the list is the next installment in a franchise that doesn’t know when to quit (although admittedly, that’s kind of the point of the franchise): The Expendables 3. This film packs more aging action film stars than ever: Stallone returns as Barney Ross, along with such household names as Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger (of course)—the list goes on.

All the stars in the world will not help, however—the film currently rates at 34% on Rotten Tomatoes. This film is arguably the worst of the three, as the thought and effort going toward an acceptable screenplay diminish as the cast of action stars increases. Still, its incredible roster may attract $34 million worth of moviegoers to theaters, according to Box Office Guru.

Also opening today is a movie adaptation of a famous, award-winning novel: The Giver. The film follows Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) in a peaceful, but bland society that assigns him the role of Receiver—the holder of all memory and emotion deprived of the populace to keep them compliant. As he begins his undertaking with the previous Receiver (Jeff Bridges, who is now the Giver), he begins to understand the flaws in his seemingly perfect society, and the need for escape.

The critics were equally unimpressed with this film, rating it at 30% on the Tomatometer. The artful handling of difficult ideas that won the source novel such acclaim is absent in this movie—it more closely resembles the endless young adult releases which have attempted to fill the Harry Potter/Twilight void. It is predicted to earn $12 million over the weekend.

Finally, a new adult comedy has arrived in theaters (since it seems like there has to be at least one playing in theaters at all times): Let’s Be Cops. Two friends (Damon Wayans Jr., Jake M. Johnson) go to a costume party as cops, and when their costumes allow them to pass as actual policemen, they decide to ride out the ruse as far as it will go.

This film took the worst beating in ratings of the whole week with a Tomatometer rating of only 11%. The film doesn’t have enough of a concept to stand on, so it’s reinforced with comedy stereotypes and lazy writing. In a week of disappointing releases, this stands out as especially disappointing, and is accordingly only projected to earn $17 million.

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