By the time Monday morning rolls around, the vast Hollywood wasteland that is the month of January will be but a memory. Before that moment arrives, however, two more derisible movies are set to unspool in theaters. As we do every Friday, here’s a handy guide to the new releases.
Edge of Darkness
What’s the story: Look everyone: It’s the unofficial sequel to Taken! Released almost one year to the day of that surprise hit, Edge of Darkness is just your typical father-avenges-daughters-death-and-winds-up-in-a-conspiratorial-plot-concerning-nuclear-weapons action film. Based on a 1985 BBC miniseries, this movie has Mel Gibson returning to the screen for the first time since 2002′s Signs, complete with a terrible Boston accent, to star as the vengeful pop, and he’s brought along some scenery-chewing friends (Ray Winstone, Danny Huston and Dennis O’Hare). Surprisingly, the reviews have been solid (save our Rex Reed’s spoiler-rific take) and if they aren’t enough to get you to the theater—nor the fact that there is literally nothing else out unless you want to see Avatar again—take a look at the creative team: Casino Royale helmer Martin Campbell directs from a script co-written by The Departed‘s Academy Award–winning scribe, William Monahan. If nothing else, expect the action and four-letter words to flow liberally.
Who should see it: Liam Neeson.
When in Rome
What’s the story: Normally, February is the month that Hollywood uses for romantic comedies, but When in Rome is the type of film that looks so horrible it could only be released in January (hello, Leap Year!). Kristen Bell stars as lovelorn New Yorker who, while on a trip to Rome, steals a bunch of coins from a magical fountain and winds up being pursued by countless men. No kidding. Josh Duhamel plays the guy she inevitably ends up with—he’s the male lead after all—but comedic actors like Jon Heder, Dax Shepard and, most alarmingly, Will Arnett come along for the ride, too. We’ll assume Mr. Arnett took this gig to buy son Archie a bigger swing set.
Who should see it: The Ghost of Audrey Hepburn … so she can roll over in her grave.
Also opening this weekend: Ray Winstone shows up again in 44 Inch Chest, while Steve Buscemi and Sarah Silverman go to Sin City in Saint John of Las Vegas (don’t worry: we’ve never heard of it either).