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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Review: The Happening


The Happening (2008)
Genre: Thriller
Format: Theatrical Release
Director: M. Night Shyamalan

I became a fan of Shyamalan's works after I watched The Sixth Sense. The ending was a total shocker but the heartfelt human stories told within it were the real deal for me. I thought Invincible was a great reworking of the superhero movie and Signs was truly genius when it comes to mood/tension. Then came The Village and at that point, I knew that Shyamalan was running out of steam. The pain of sitting through the second half of that movie made me skipped Lady in the Water (I recently placed it in my Netflix queue just to be fair). The Happening looked mighty promising in the trailers and it reminded me a lot of Signs, which I consider his best movie. Well, the only thing that should be happening from the movie is Shyamalan losing the rest of his last remaining fans.

When people started killing themselves in New York's Central Park, a science teacher, his wife, and friends decided to escape the city to avoid the possibility of a biological terrorism as it begins to spread quite rapidly. Things get from bad to worse when the problem seems to be chasing after them wherever they go. There is definitely some potential to the storyline but other than the terrific first act of the film that showcases the spreading madness and destruction, the remainder of the film just doesn't work. There is little sense of urgency or fear since it is apparent that nothing bad is going to happen to the seemingly too brilliant protagonist. If you have seen the trailer, then you have seen all the disturbing scenes in the movie minus the little blood squirts and spatters (Wow, Shyamalan must be pretty desperate).

I thought Mark Wahlberg did an okay job though he should never be the one to play the role of a smart teacher. His on-screen wife, Zooey Deschanel, on the other hand shows us why she should be called the worst actress of all time with her now trademark confused, irritated look and one note bug-eyed expression that she seems to inherit from the disastrous made-for-TV Tin Man. I didn't even noticed that she was the object-of-desire teacher in Bridge to Terabithia, which means that she must did okay in that movie and perhaps she has hired a new but terrible acting coach. Without spoiling any plot details, the ending is completely idiotic, further solidifying what Shyamalan has become. Rental-only on all Shyamalan's future films from this point forward.

RATING: 1 out of 5

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

0 out of 5, I will never pay good money to see another one of his movies!!!!