★★★ / 👎
Adequate programmer that didn’t particularly work for me, but was a real hit for the dozens of children in my screening, complete with laughter, screaming, and thunderous applause at the end.
The sexism angle has been talked to death, but I agree with at least some of it. Pratt’s self-described “alpha” character reacts to romantic rejection with boorishness. Realistic, but insufferable.
More disturbing is the film’s glee at combining PG-13 violence with caricatures to allow guilt-free consumption of brutality. Watching a matinee full of pre-teens cheer the deaths of Fat Guys and Snooty Authority Figures and Bad Soldiers felt exactly like sitting in a midnight screening of a slasher film, listening to an older crowd root for the death of The Slut and The Jock.
(Yeah, I know the counterpoints: identification, catharsis, exercise in empathy. Fine, whatever. I still felt the distinct sensation that I was the odd man out sitting in the middle of a pack that, however weak the individual members are, could tear me apart if it chose to, with zero weight on its collective conscience.)