To be fair, this was the week After Earth was originally scheduled to open, so that could have made things marginally more interesting. As it is, what we have are a couple of sacrificial lambs trying to eke out a week’s worth of decent grosses before Man of Steel comes along and blows them out of the water. And not exactly in the most original ways.
Take The Internship, for example, offering up the best buddy comedy 2005 had to offer. Because that was about the last time Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson were relevant or funny. But hey, at least they’re tackling a timely topic with this newfangled Google thing the film is about. Seriously, this looks like a script that’s been sitting in a drawer for ten years or so and Vaughn pulled it out hoping people would remember why they liked him in the first place. That it seems like a total rip-off of Old School only heightens the weary sense of déjà vu hanging over the whole thing. Even the poster is terrible, recycling the ubiquitous red comedy font and the stale old shocked expressions that rarely translate into anything remotely shocking or amusing. I just hope this film doesn’t keep this Google from getting off the ground.
At least The Purge is reaching further back for its influences. In the second cribbing of Star Trek to take place this summer, The Purge essentially recycles the original Trek episode “The Return of the Archons.” Every year, the law is suspended for twelve hours and you can basically do whatever the hell you want, be it tearing the tags off mattresses or outright killing people. The point being it gets out all the negative emotions so America can be this idyllic utopia, at least for 8,748 hours out of the year. Sucks for you if you don’t make it out of those twelve hours though. There’s definitely some thematic weight to the concept … I just don’t think this is the film to provide it. It seems more content to be a “house under siege” film than to really try to explore the concept. And of course, there’s no Shatner.
So I wouldn’t be surprised if Fast & Furious 6 ekes out another weekend on top. I can’t see After Earth or Now You See Me suddenly leaping into contention after their openings, and I just don’t sense any kind of excitement about the new releases. Which is good news for the Rock, because he’s got to pay for all those pancakes somehow.