The reviews are pouring in for Colin Trevorrow's The Book of Henry and they're not pretty. In fact, some big publications are strongly speculating that it could cost the director his next gig Star Wars: Episode XI. More than one review is nominating Trevorrow's latest offering as the worst movie of the year thus far, beating out Guy Ritchie's King Arthur. It has been reported that audiences have laughed during screenings of the movie, which is strange because the movie was not originally conceived as a comedy. The Book of Henry's bad reviews seem to be unanimous as it currently holds a 21% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers even calls the movie a "WTF flaming mess."
Trevorrow's next project is a little movie called Star Wars 9 and the terrible reviews of The Book of Henry are leading many to speculate on what kind of damage Trevorrow can inflict on the Star Wars universe, which is pretty rough when you think about Episodes 1-3. The Hollywood Reporter journalist John DeFore has picked up the speculative torch and set Trevorrow on fire. Read DeFore's thoughts below.
"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?"
You can tell by DeFore's first sentence that he's already bitter about the current state of affairs in the Star Wars universe, but does he raise a good point? The answer is no, The Book of Henry will have little to no effect on star Wars 9. If anything, the movie will become an ironic cult classic. It's already worth noting that fans put the approval rating at 71%, a rating that is a lot better than the critical response and indicative that it might not be the hot garbage that the movie nerds are saying it is. You can't please everybody all of the time and nobody knows that more than Trevorrow at this moment. Trevorrow took to his Twitter account in response to the critics. He says "Be proud of everything you paint, even if Mom doesn't put it on the fridge."
The Book of Henry stars Naomi Watts as Susan Carpenter, a waitress and single mom to the 11-year old genius Henry (Jaeden Lieberher) and his little (not genius) brother Peter (Jacob Tremblay). When she's not waitressing and drinking on the job, Susan likes to relax at home by playing first-person shooter video games while Henry supplies cash and protection for his younger brother from bullies as well as trying to protect the neighbor from her abusive father who just happens to be the police commissioner.
Peter Travers sums up the speculation perfectly. He says that "you still get a childlike wonder that drives Trevorrow to tell stories. It's a rare gift, and something to help him survive calamitous setbacks like this one." The Book of Henry might not be a critical success or a box office smash, but it's a story that Trevorrow wanted to tell and as he has stated, he's still proud of it. So go check out the movie and enjoy it so you can be the movie fan that saw it first and liked it before anybody else, earning yourself major cool points.