New in Theaters: 'Grown Ups 2,' 'Pacific Rim'

Pacific Rim

This weekend’s films are particularly polarized, in terms of, well, just about everything—genre, budget, audience, expected profits, and unfortunately, quality.

Opening today is Grown Ups 2, sequel the Adam Sandler “comedy” of the same name. Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, and Kevin James return in the sequel (with about a half billion other huge Hollywood names in minor roles), where Sandler’s family has relocated to his hometown, and he and his grown-up posse get into all kinds of trouble and hijinks.

Critical reception for the film has been abysmal—the release sits at a shameful 7% on the Tomatometer. Most critics agree that the film is full of raunchy attempts at humor that fall flat, and all the stars in the world cannot save a script that fails so completely at being funny. Nevertheless, Box Office Guru estimates a weekend gross of $31 million for the film.

However, this weekend’s batch of releases might just be redeemed by Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, which opened late yesterday. The film is a modern reimagining of your basic monster film—monsters rise from the depths of the ocean, wreak havoc, and humanity musters everything in its power—in this case, enormous human-operated robot warriors called Jaegers—to save itself from annihilation.

The critics of Rotten Tomatoes were far kinder to this film, giving it a rating of 72%. It may not be quite as profound and thought-provoking as some of del Toro’s more artsy endeavors, but he is still able to make an old film cliché new, interesting, and ultimately, fun. The film can expect around $38 million over the weekend.

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