Boom, Bust, or Meh – April 2022

Welcome to Boom, Bust, or Meh, ladies and gentlemen! This is where we focus on five films released during the month and have some fun predicting their success! As with every BBoM article, each film receives one of the following scores from each participating GUG film critic:

Boom: A film you’ll remember for the rest of the year.

Bust: A film you’ll regret watching.

Meh: A film that entertains during the moment, but has no lasting impact.

At the end of each month, each of the films will be arbitrarily judged and the critic’s ongoing tally will be updated (the score is written beside their name: correct predictions – incorrect predictions).

Let’s see what April has to offer after we look at last month’s results!

The Results

Before we get to our film predictions, let us take a look at the outcome of our March predictions!

1. The Batman – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 85%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 88%

IMDB Score: 8.3

Box Office

Production Budget: $200 million

Worldwide: $677 million

Juliana: It’s a long movie that doesn’t offer much depth, but many still loved the dark tone, direction, and its sheer audacity, giving it high scores. While still making bank, it didn’t break the billion dollar mark as was forecast by box office analysts, further showing the cinematic world has changed since the pandemic.  

Our review!

2. Tyson’s Run – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: N/A

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 86%

IMDB Score: 7.2

Box Office

Production Budget: Not disclosed

Worldwide: $358 thousand

Juliana: Interesting. Despite enjoying a nationwide release in select theaters across the United States, there still isn’t a lot of data regarding Tyson’s Run. Viewers that did manage to catch it report a contrived plot and stilted acting, though it’s also being positively review bombed at the moment as well, with some saying it’s a rather inspiring film. So I’m going to split the difference and call it a Meh!

3. Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre

Error: Movie not found!

It seems the film industry is still not stable. After publishing last month’s Boom, Bust, or Meh article, Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre was pulled from it’s mid-March schedule with no comment from the studio with an alternative date of release as of yet. It’s still predicted to release within the first half of 2022.

4. The Outfit – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 87%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 93%

IMDB Score: 7.5

Box Office

Budget: Not disclosed

Worldwide: $3 million

Juliana: Ignoring a limp box office return since it’s underperforming for everyone at the moment anyway, The Outfit is praised for being a classic taut thriller lead by a perfect cast.

5. The Lost City – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 75%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 84%

IMDB Score: 6.7

Box Office

Budget: $68-74 million

Worldwide: $41 million

Juliana: A lacklustre plot that many say is saved by great chemistry between Bullock and Tatum.

Our review!

New Releases

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (96-74), and Tyler Hummel is at (75-64). This month we are joined by fresh meat L.J. Lowery!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Rating: PG

Release Date: April 8, 2022

Synopsis: When the manic Dr Robotnik returns to Earth with a new ally, Knuckles the Echidna, Sonic and his new friend Tails is all that stands in their way. (IMDB)

Director: Jeff Fowler

Starring: Ben Schwartz, Idris Elba, Collen O-Shanussy, Jim Carrey, James Marsden

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (96-74): BOOM! – I’m tossing up between a Meh and a BOOM for this one. It is a video game adaptation and a sequel after all, both of which aren’t synonymous for success in the film industry. Then again, the first movie was a surprise hit, partially because people did go in with low expectations. Can lightning hit twice? Really, all this film needs to do is carry over its same sense of warmth, playful goofiness, and 90s style Jim Carrey, and it’ll achieve the same welcome as the first one. Provided there’s not a drop in quality, I don’t see why it can’t be as popular an outing the second time around.

Tyler Hummel (75-64): BOOM! – I’ll be honest, I wasn’t one of the people praising the first film when it dropped in 2020. I found it to be somewhat underwhelming and cheap looking, and I didn’t like how the bad behind the scenes dramas was emblematic of the way the film industry disabuses its employees. Still, I get why it was such a huge hit, and I can’t help but be fascinated by this film leaning even further into the cartoonish Sonic brand than before. Maybe it’ll hit a sweet spot and be pretty good!  

L.J. Lowery (0-0): BOOM! – The first Sonic the Hedgehog was quite the surprise and came to us like a warm hug we didn’t know we needed before the pandemic. I believe that Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will be bigger and better than the first, and will continue the trend of proving that video game film adaptations can work even though others have failed. I can’t wait to see Idris Elba as Knuckles and Jim Carrey’s evolution into fully unhinged Dr. Robotnik.

Ambulance

Rating: R

Release Date: April 8, 2022

Synopsis: Two robbers steal an ambulance after their heist goes awry. (IMDB)

Director: Michael Bay

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (96-74): BOOM! – I’ll risk it and predict the BOOM! I’ve seen this film advertised so heavily this past month, which tells me that Universal has a lot of faith in this film. The latest trailer seems to suggest this movie is essentially a tightly-packed, one set location action flick all contained within an ambulance. We know Michael Bay can direct car chase sequences, which will be a huge factor in whether this film will be a hit. Ambulance will need to be very strong and feature some artistic flair in this area, since we have been spoilt recently (also thanks to Bay’s past works), but if this film can deliver top-tier car chases, then it’ll push it above an average Meh, and straight into the BOOM category.

Tyler Hummel (75-64): BOOM! – I don’t fully understand what Michael Bay’s current career trajectory is. 6 Underground was one of the largest films Netflix ever funded and released and may very well have been one of Bay’s most popular films. This looks like a step down into a more contained and smaller scale thriller along the lines of the original Bad Boys films, and I can’t help but think it might turn out really well!

L.J. Lowery (0-0): Meh – I’m very divided on my prediction with this one. It’s got the potential to take the box office, but I don’t know if it will since it releases the same weekend as Sonic the Hedgehog 2. We haven’t had a blockbuster heist movie of this caliber in a very long time and the lead cast looks like they will deliver some great performances. With Michael Bay in the director’s chair we’ll get some wild action pieces that will be fun, but how ridiculous things get could be the detriment to this movie’s success. I really want this movie to succeed, but it would go either way.

Father Stu

Rating: R

Release Date: April 15, 2022

Synopsis: Follows the life of Father Stuart Long, a boxer-turned-priest who inspired countless people during his journey from self-destruction to redemption. (IMDB)

Director: Rosalind Ross

Starring: Mel Gibson, Mark Wahlberg, Jacki Weaver

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (96-74): Meh – It hurts to predict a Meh. I want this to be a BOOM! Featuring some of the most influential and prominent Christians in Hollywood, Father Stu looks set to be one of the best Christian flicks since The Passion of the Christ. Provided it lands its tone, resisting the urge to beat its audience over the head with its message, this film could be a powerful, hard-hitting drama. There will be a lot of people that will resonate and enjoy this movie. The question is whether those will be the same people who will ultimately determine the Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB scores, of which this game is predominantly judged. I’m cynical—I think the prejudice towards Christians and pro-Christianity films will dampen the success of this movie, and there might even be a bit of review bombing.

Tyler Hummel (75-64): Meh – Huh. Neat premise. Hadn’t heard of it before researching this list, but reserving judgment given Mark Wahlberg’s spotty history picking projects. 

L.J. Lowery (0-0): BOOM! – I didn’t realize what Father Stu was until I watched the trailer before writing this and I was pleasantly surprised. Out of all the movies on this list, this one is Academy Award material. I can’t say what it will do at the box office, but the people who see it will love it and critics will praise it as well. The journey of Stuart long has the potential of being a movie that we won’t forget and could talk about during award season around this time next year. If Mark Wahlberg brings the role home, he could even be nominated for best actor.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: April 15, 2022

Synopsis: The third installment of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which follows the continuing adventures of Newt Scamander. (IMDB)

Director: David Yates

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Ezra Miller, Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne, Dan Fogler

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (96-74): Meh – The Fantastic Beasts saga has always floundered under the shadow of the Harry Potter franchise. They’re just not as vibrantly fun or well-written, although the fans are still coming in good faith. Although J.K. Rowling’s reputation has been tarnished recently, causing many to awkwardly try to cancel and separate the creator from her own creation, which quite frankly is a bit of a lost cause. I’m not convinced the drama outside of the production will impact the film’s success as much as people believe it will, considering that not all fans share the same views on such topics anyway. If anything, it’s the lacklustre success of the previous films which will impact the third movie the most. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was reasonably fun though the pacing and tone dropped at a few points. However, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was an utter mess. This third instalment looks to be more concise in its narrative structure compared to its predecessors, and if so, then it stands a chance on being the best one yet… but I still don’t see it ranking higher than any of the entries in the main Harry Potter franchise.

Tyler Hummel (75-64): Bust – It actually shocked me this month that the eleventh Harry Potter film was being released in just a few weeks and I hadn’t heard almost anything about it. Granted, it doesn’t help the preceding film in the franchise—The Crimes of Grindelwald—is one of the worst films in contemporary Hollywood history. The movie is also coming out in the aftermath of J.K. Rowling being declared public enemy number one by the transgender community, and Johnny Depp being fired on the grounds that he was an abuser—a claim that evidence has since cleared. Maybe this film is just a perfect storm of bad press and bad ideas? 

L.J. Lowery (0-0): Bust – The Fantastic Beasts franchise seems to be quite a mess. I enjoyed the first one enough that I have it on Blu-ray, but had no interest in the second one at all. Secrets of Dumbledore actually looks like it could be decent and I want it to do well. However, people are sick of J.K. Rowling and seem to be tired of the Harry Potter franchise being milked. I don’t know that even die-hard fans will be going to see this movie. I predict this movie will be viewed the most on HBO Max when it shows up on that platform 45 days after release.

The Northman

Rating: R

Release Date: April 22, 2022

Synopsis: From visionary director Robert Eggers comes The Northman, an action-filled epic that follows a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father’s murder. (IMDB)

Director: Robert Eggers

Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (96-74): BOOM! – This film is coming during a perfect storm. Based on the Scandinavian legend of Amleth, it’s from a part of the world that hasn’t been explored too much in Hollywood. However, there’s been an increased interest in the region thanks to shows like Game of Thrones and Vikings, the mythology behind Thor, and even kid’s films like Frozen. It’s also a story brought to life by visionary director Robert Eggers, whose previous feature length films have all been masterpieces, and starring actors who are currently at the height of their careers (Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, Claes Bang). Provided the film just focuses on telling a ripping tale filled with intriguing and well-developed characters, instead of trying to reframe this historical period from some modern moralistic high ground (because teaching the audience the lesson that Vikings were brutal people would be overkill and irritatingly patronizing), then there’s no reason The Northman wouldn’t be a BOOM!

Tyler Hummel (75-64): BOOM! – I’m dying to see this film! Robert Eggers has become one of our best horror directors following the incredible success of The Witch and The Lighthouse. Now to round out his “The” trilogy, we have a Viking adventure film with huge scope and an amazing looking trailer and I am all about it! 

L.J. Lowery (0-0): Bust The Northman boasts an ensemble cast, but I feel like people will go into this movie and get something they did not expect—and not in a good way. I get the feeling the trailer will be the culprit and the movie will shape up to be something else. We’ll likely get a Green Knight situation in which reception will be extremely mixed between critics and audiences, but ultimately it will be forgotten. However, I am very interested in watching The Northman for myself and am ready for the experience it has to offer.

Thanks for reading this month’s edition! Let us know your predictions in the comment section. Join us next month for another edition of “Boom, Bust, or Meh!”

Are you looking forward to any of these films? What are your predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in April?

Juliana Purnell

After obtaining a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts, Juliana Purnell has enjoyed a successful acting career, working within theme parks, businesses, and on film sets. She has also taken on crew roles, both in film and theatrical productions. When Juliana isn't working, she enjoys watching movies of all genres at the cinema, writing, and playing with Samson, her pomeranian.

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