Monday, June 16, 2008

The Happening: What happened??

Leaving the theatre, I found it hard to classify what kind of movie I just saw. Was it a psycological thriller, a 'thinker' drama, or just another straight up creepy film by M. Night Shyamalan. Right from the opening scenes of the movie, I knew I was in for a bumpy ride. Basically, the film is about Planet Earth finally getting even with a human race in a bloody and freaky way.

Apparently, the wind and the trees might have the ability to flip the switch in the human brain breaking down our natural instinct to protect ourselves from harm. Instead, the switch is flipped to "throw yourself under a lawn mower" mode. It makes for an interesting premise but is far too outlandish. Where the movie succeeds in creating a cloud of fear for the audience, the acting fails to ignite the story.

Mark Walhberg has impressed me throughout his movie career. Especially in The Departed where his is the only surviving character in an all-star cast. Playing a middle school science teacher with marital problems, Walhberg resurrects his Dirk Diggler voice from Boogie Nights for some reason. It's sort-of afeminent but not enough to question his sexuality. I just don't understand the choice. His best friend in the film is potrayed by John Lenguizamo, an interesting selection for a supporting actor. I didn't see him coming but he does a well enough job.

Watching people extinguish themselves without any emotion whatsoever is very entertaining, but a group of four people trying to out run wind just makes my head shake. How dumb does Hollywood think I am? How many bad one-liners and cheesy sense-of-urgency scenes is enough?

The idea is interesting and conversation worthy. What would a plant say if it could speak language? If an oak tree could buy an AK-47, would it? I guess there are some questions that will never get answered. To stay safe, I recommend singing "When The Saints Come Marching In" to your front lawn and house plants before going to sleep every night. I give this movie 2 out of 5 shines.

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