Aladdin

The first box office weekend in May (May 3-5) showcased some big releases that got overshadowed by the late-April release of “Avengers: Endgame”. Releases such as the home-invasion thriller “The Intruder” [PG-13] and the kid-friendly adventure movie “UglyDolls” [PG] underperformed at the box office (in large part due to “Endgame’s” tremendous second weekend) and received terrible reviews. The Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen-led comedy “Long Shot” [R] didn’t perform well at the box office either but is acquiring decent reviews with a current 83 percent Critics’ Score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

This upcoming weekend (May 10-12), a few highly-anticipated films will try to share the spotlight with “Endgame.” The popular worldwide Pokémon franchise brings another film to the big screen this weekend with “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” [PG], with Ryan Reynolds voicing a talking Pikachu who helps a young man find his missing father. Also premiering this weekend is “Tolkien” [PG-13]; Nicholas Hoult plays the famous author J.R.R. Tolkien in this biopic. 

The following weekend (May 17-19), Keanu Reeves reprises his role as John Wick in “John Wick: Chapter 3” [R]. In this third installment of the fan-favorite franchise John Wick will battle his way through the streets of New York with a $14 million contract on his head. Dennis Quaid brings his star power to “A Dog’s Journey” [PG] that weekend as well. In this sequel to “A Dog’s Purpose”, a dog named Bailey reincarnates to keep a promise he made.

The weekend of May 24-26, Disney’s live action “Aladdin” [PG] arrives at theaters. This already polarizing movie has been angrily discussed on the internet since the first theatrical trailer dropped earlier this year. Disney hopes this remake of the classic animated movie will change many minds once it is released. “Booksmart” [R], the comedy directed by Olivia Wilde, also premieres that weekend. 

The last box office day of May (May 31), has two more potential big blockbusters. The King returns to defend his crown in “Godzilla: King of Monsters” [PG-13]. Godzilla will battle against his infamous foes such as Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah. In another film arriving that day, Taron Egerton plays pop icon Elton John. “Rocketman” [Not Yet Rated] is sure to be an epic biopic of the music legend that will close out the box office month of May in style. 

One You Might Have Missed: “Destroyer” [R]

Starring Nicole Kidman who plays LAPD detective Erin Bell, this neo-noir — released in theaters late last year — follows Erin as she tracks down a killer and bank robber from her past, Silas Howe (Toby Kebbell). Silas is responsible for the death of Erin’s boyfriend and partner, Chris (Sebastian Stan) — while the two were undercover in Silas’s gang. Nearly 20 years after the incident, Silas leaves a message for Erin, and she then proceeds dig up the past and track down old members of the gang to find him.

“Destroyer” is a gritty movie, actually having added film grain in the picture. Kidman’s character is extremely rough around the edges — being an alcoholic who heavily swears, uses physical interrogation methods and is snarky with her colleagues. That being said, she completely immerses herself in this role. Kidman is truly at her best in this film, even though she doesn’t have the greatest dialogue to work with. 

The movie itself has some issues — such as the above mentioned writing. For the film’s aspired realism, it contains a bit too many unbelievable moments. It could have also used an extra 20 minutes or so to better detail the backstory of Erin’s character while she was infiltrating the gang; this could have made the movie more intriguing when those characters are on screen in present day. 

Despite its flaws, “Destroyer” is definitely worth a watch. Between Kidman’s performance, interesting plot with a few surprises and heart-pounding action sequences, this motion picture will definitely go down as one of the best hidden gems of 2018. 

“Destroyer” is now available to rent on streaming platforms.•

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