New in theaters: ‘A Simple Favor’, ‘The Predator’


Film critic Tony Toscano with TV’s Talking Pictures joined us in studio to talk about two movies in theaters this weekend.

The Predator

When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.

“The Predator” takes a good running start at being a sequel to a franchise that has seen better days. The film offers up some well-delivered and witty dialogue, humor and better-than-expected action sequences.

But “The Predator” falls short of it goal by not flushing out the script. The plot is too contrived and the characters are underutilized. The film falls into the habit of confusing gore with action, and although the film does have ‘shock value,’ what the audience is left with is a stodgy and lackluster attempt at a reboot that never embraces the spirit of the first film.

“The Predator” is likable, but its only average fare at best.

It gets a C and is rated R.

A Simple Favor

“A Simple Favor,” directed by Paul Feig, centers around Stephanie, a mommy blogger who seeks to uncover the truth behind her best friend’s sudden disappearance from their small town.

Although this film spotlights two of my favorite actresses, Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, the story itself is a very unusual blend of comedy and thriller which didn’t sit well with the audience, as none of the characters were particularly likable or invoked empathy from the viewer.

Both Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively turn in dutiful performances, with Kendrick playing manic to Lively’s detached femme fatale. But both women are oddly out of place as neither really compliment each other’s performances in this cat and mouse movie.

“A Simple Favor” ends up a frustrating mystery movie with a slightly bitter aftertaste. 

It gets a C and is rated R.


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