Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Happening (2008)

I really haven't had time to write a lot of film reviews lately, but I felt morally obligated to jot down the PSA…

At first I thought that perhaps M. Night Shyamalan has been on a drinking binge or something. (Bear in mind, the last two films I saw of his were Signs and The Village)

But now I have decided that Shyamalan is actually a cinematic genius who has figured out a way to really draw his audience into the story. You see, after ninety minutes of viewing The Happening, I wanted to kill myself!
To be fair, some of the suicide scenes were downright hilarious. I kept thinking about Adult Swim's video game "5 Minutes to Kill Yourself". Laying down in front of an industrial mower, playing with lions at a zoo, a gaggle of construction workers literally walking off the job, and even a couple fun games of Russian Roulette with fully-loaded weapons… I'll admit I had more chuckles than what would have been deemed appropriate had I been watching this in a theater.

After the suicide scenes, the only hope for entertainment I found was to count the editing and continuity mistakes. Near as we can tell, some of the characters had the power of teleportation which they displayed frequently. Or you can play everyone's favorite movie game…"Why the Hell Was This Scene Even Included?"

I'm not worried about giving away the ending to this film, because quite frankly, I don't think there was one. (I had to wonder if "Mr. Twist Ending" Shyamalan pulled a Salvador Dali stunt and just signed his name on a blank paper here.) I realize that may well have been the point, but I also feel it's a let down when it comes to telling a story for a general audience.

Of course, on the plus side that meant that I didn't figure out the ending halfway through the film… although with all the red herrings being thrown out I was half-expecting Jesus Christ to show up holding a doomsday device at some point.

So I give this one a negative-star rating. If you must see it, I suggest fast-forwarding through any scene where someone isn't holding a potential weapon.

Film information: The Happening

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