The reviews for Colin Trevorrow's new movie "The Book of Henry" are so bad -- even worse than "The Mummy" -- that people are wondering if it might cost the director his next gig: "Star Wars: Episode IX."
what if the book of henry gets such scathing reviews that trevorrow is fired from star wars. that'd be hilarious— Bront (@bmrow) June 15, 2017
So is The Book of Henry so bad that it will cost Trevorrow the Star Wars gig? Did Trevorrow just Trank himself?— Matthew Legarreta (@mattlegarreta) June 15, 2017
"The Book of Henry," which stars Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay ("Room"), is being described by critics as "grotesquely phony and manipulative" (LA TImes) and "preposterous genre stew with wacky plot spasms and underdeveloped characters" (Film Journal International) and "a bizarre mash-up of a quirky comedy, a weepy drama, and a hard-boiled thriller that ends up feeling like a mutant Lifetime movie with an ending straight out of a fever dream" (The Atlantic).
So that's mostly a critique of the script, which is by crime novelist Gregg Hurwitz, whose only previous Hollywood writing credit is for the TV show "V." But Trevorrow is getting knocks that aren't just about the writing. Vulture's Emily Yoshida writes, "The script is inexcusably bad and accounts for most of the film's problems. But Trevorrow can't draw a single emotional through line out of the muck, leaving his cast stranded in a directionless jumble of half-arcs. ... 'The Book of Henry' is a disaster to its bones, as mind-bendingly broken as 'The Room' or 'Birdemic' or any other piece of cult outsider art."
As THR's critic John DeFore wrote, "Those of us who've allowed ourselves to care about the latest Star Wars trilogy may be made fearful about the prospect of an 'Episode IX' directed by Trevorrow. The garden-variety blockbuster lameness of his 'Jurassic World' was one thing; after this near-catastrophe, can he really be trusted with the fate of the Jedi?"
"The Book of Henry" currently has a 23% critics' rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But audiences so far are enjoying it much more, giving it a 73% rating.
In an upbeat response to the scathing reviews, Trevorrow posted this inspirational tweet yesterday:
Be proud of everything you paint, even if Mom doesn't put it on the fridge.— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) June 15, 2017