Hollywood Movies

3 films that’ll make you question if Hollywood is doing okay

April 13, 20245 Mins Read


Has anyone conducted a pulse check on Hollywood lately? Perhaps it depends on one’s own choice of films, but some of the kind of content coming out of Western cinema is truly…intriguing. One might even say that it’s “brave” of filmmakers to put themselves out there in such a manner at a time when AI is at their necks, coming for their jobs.

One is all the more compelled to analyse this challenge posed by AI when one discusses films they’ve seen as of late. As an avid fan of anything trashy, one could feel emboldened and dare to watch not one, not two, but three poorly reviewed films over a stretch of two days. Is it necessary? No. Is it excruciating? Well, that relies firmly on whether or not you enjoy art that confounds and boggles, making you question how it passed several boards of approval before its release.

Madame Web

Oh, boy. This is low-hanging fruit. A lot has been said about the absolutely nonsensical clown show that Madame Web was. Right off the bat, one assumes that the script in question was burnt to a crisp prior to shooting, given the lack of direction for the narrative, laughably poor dialogues, and a general sense of, “Wait, someone got paid to make this?”

The 2024 Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney starrer will truly make you despise superheroes, if you don’t already. It’s not a terrible watch, by any means – if you have no sense of cinematic appreciation. The offering doubles as Cassandra “Cassie” Webb’s origin story, exploring her past as she struggles to save the lives of three young women from Ezekiel Sims (essayed by Tahar Rahim), who wishes to eliminate them before they can kill him.

The plot seems simple enough, but the film contorts itself backwards, employing absurd repetition and what the team assumed were clever psychological visuals to say what it wants. The evident lack of directorial skills, best seen in the way the cast fumbles to deliver the most basic dialogues – or even act human – works in the film’s favour. Madame Web thus becomes a masterclass in what not to do while attempting to make a film.

Lisa Frankenstein

What do you get when you cross a star kid who has morphed into a walking meme dripping cringe with a CW actor? Clearly, not much. Kathryn Newton and Cole Sprouse traverse a journey of love, murder, missing body parts, and eternal togetherness in the strangest possible way. While the plot of the film holds potential, the lead actors struggle to prove their mettle.

The plot follows Lisa Swallows (Newton) as she struggles to deal with the murder of her mother. Drawing the short end of the stick, she is stuck with a horrid stepmother, but lands a popular, cheerful stepsister. Because she’s an edgy kid, Lisa devotes her time to the local Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, as most kids do when ignored or chided by family.

Often expressing a desire to join her mother, Lisa’s wishes are misconstrued when she converses with the grave of a young Victorian man who died in 1837. Struck by a bolt of lightning, the grave gives way to the resurrected “Creature” who is now in love with Lisa. Now, one may like all things gruesome, but violence has to have some kind of motivation. Actions in the film are so absurdly unfounded that one wonders if the film was even meant to be consumed seriously, or if it’s a constant parody of itself, embellished by truly awful performances. And that’s saying something, considering all Sprouse has to do is grunt.

Ricky Stanicky

Ever turned on a Hollywood film and thought, “Hey, isn’t this kind of like Jawani Phir Nahi Ani?” As outlandish as that sounds, Ricky Stanicky could easily be a Bollywood or Lollywood film. Despite its promising cast, with heavyweights like Zac Efron, Jeff Ross, and John Cena holding up the fort, the film falls short of being interesting.

The plot revolves around the antics of three childhood friends, Dean, Wes, and JT, who use a fictional character named Ricky Stanicky as a scapegoat for their misdeeds. The story kicks off with a Halloween prank gone awry, where the trio inadvertently sets their neighbour’s scarecrow on fire and pins the blame on their “new friend.” Fast forward twenty years, and the trio still lean on the imaginary Ricky Stanicky to avoid responsibilities and escape consequences. When their lies catch up to them, Cena has to step in as Ricky.

The film isn’t as awful as the others in this selection. In fact, Cena carries the offering on his capable shoulders, with impeccable comedic timing and a hilarious portrayal of Ricky. However, with a restrained chemistry with the rest of the cast, the film fails to deliver as exceptionally as one would hope, with anyone other than Cena desperately thrashing around to contribute.

To conclude, watch the first two films completely at your own risk, and the third one solely if you’re an avid fan of Cena. But, if you’re truly feeling adventurous, with a nagging sense of self-loathing creeping in that you must combat in a relatively healthy way, feel free to do a marathon of all three films together. Good luck.

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