It is not today that critics and the public disagree. From Transformers to Twilight, to Fast and Furious, which is part of the filmography of people like Stallone and Schwarzenegger, and we don’t even need to talk about the countless horror slasher films that emerged in the 1980s such that Friday the 13th and the hour of the Bad Dream. What everyone has in common is a disdain for critics, but a relentless love for fans. That’s what really matters to Hollywood executives: whether the film made enough money to keep producing.
Yes, make no mistake about it buddy, money is always the strongest. Cinematographic works are expensive, after all, you would have about $ 20 million to invest in something that doesn’t pay off? What can happen, although these are rare cases, is the cult status that a particular work has acquired over the years to justify the investment. So it was with Blade Runner, Tron and even big franchises like Rambo and Rocky. Nothing like time, and yes, fan insistence comes into play as well. However, these were productions that, if they weren’t given reviews at launch, conquer them over the years or praise other chapters in their franchise.
All this introduction to talk about the Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D (2005), which completes 15 years of its launch, and immediate resounding failure, in theaters. Vanity project by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, the children’s feature film was born out of a partnership between the director and… his 7-year-old son Racer! Do you know when we say “this movie looks like it was made by a kid”? Well it was indeed! And as we’ve learned in the past, when daddy babysitters let their nepotism and self-centeredness speak louder, the result is almost always disastrous: see Lady in the Water (2006), bedtime story that M. Night Shyamalan told her children; and After Earth (2013), which Will Smith played for his son Jaden to play.
Well, why are we talking about this overproduction almost forgotten by time? For very curious reasons. The first is that Sharkboy and Lavagirl have stepped out of the shadows recently, with the announcement of a sequel, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 2: We Can Be Heroes, set to release January 1, 2021 on Netflix, exactly 16 years old. after the original. Once again written and directed by Rodriguez, with Taylor Dooley reprising her lead role, and a cast of names like Pedro Pascal, Boyd Holbrook (the Narcos duo), Priyanka Chopra, Christian Slater, and Oscar-nominated Mexican Adriana Barraza. Nothing against the good intention of Rodriguez, who does valuable work with children, producing with and for them. Since 2001, the filmmaker has alternated his ultraviolet films with productions for the whole family. The kick was Little Spies, which Rodriguez turned into a 4-movie franchise, and which Sharkboy and Lavagirl drank heavily from the source. In the same genre, the director would still launch A Pedra Mágica (2009).
The second point is: Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005) was then the most expensive film of Robert Rodriguez’s career, costing $ 50 million, and even paying at the US box office, where it raised $ 39 million. Around the world, he raised an additional $ 32 million, mostly paying his expenses. However, what really catches the eye, and what motivated this article, is the third topic to cover now. Sharkboy and Lavagirl is considered one of the worst movies of all time in the opinion … not of critics, but of the general public, occupying the number 66 position on this unglamorous list.
In the cinema bible on the net, the IMDB database, we can find the list of the 250 highest rated films of all time, by millions of users, where Um Sonho de Liberdade (1994) reigned in premiere. absolute position for years. But the site also does the dirty work, and lists the bottom of the safe, with the 100 worst films (here they were more benevolent, not giving so many “names to the oxen”) in the history of cinema in the opinion of its users, that is to say the general public. In this “garbage list”, which “reigns absolute” in the first place, or would be last, is the patacoada Super-Heroes: The League of Injustice (2008) – Portuguese title for Disaster Movie almost as bad as the film en si – part of the Beyond Grace parody collection that plagued theaters of the 2000s.
It is precisely in this list of the shame of others that the film Robert Rodriguez lovingly drew alongside his offspring is found. And then we fall into another problem, here it is not the reviews slaughtering (since in the aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, even with a low approval rating of 19%, the film is far from being at the bottom), but moviegoers (voting against the and the public (not showing up to make it a box office success). The question is: how does such a damned production manage to rise to the point of awakening and arousing interest in a new assault. One possible answer may be that Rodriguez does not state, at least in the original title We Can Be Heroes, that this is a continuation of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, who may behave more The second possibility is that its target audience, kids up to, say, 5 or 6, can’t go to the movies on their own and don’t use IMDB to vote for the feature film.
It’s not today that critics aren’t very cordial with some children’s productions, but what can be seen from this “dishonor list” on IMDB is that some of the most popular films. most hated by the general public are only productions for the whole family, see Babies Genials (1999) and its sequel (2004), Máskara’s son (2005), Kazaam (1996), Everyone has the twin they deserve (2011), Emoji – The Movie (2017), Bratz – The Movie (2007) etc. If Robert Rodriguez starts to dictate trends and fashion picks up steam, we may soon be able to see the sequels of those mentioned films. Have you ever imagined?
Jokes aside, we sincerely hope the new director’s child won’t be bitter about the original. We’ll find out soon, and you’ll definitely be able to read all about the film here at CinePOP as the release date draws near.
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