I did a really bad thing today.
I hope you won't think any less of me when I impart to you that I watched The Happening.
I mean it was a free viewing and I always find it hard to say no to a freebie (Apart from the one time a drugged up homeless guy offered to blow me because he thought I was Mr Ed...) but lets be honest that's a poor excuse. Let's just say I was interested in seeing what type of trite pap M Night Shyamalan could commit to the screen this time.
In fairness Shyamalan is not without talent: He does have an artistic eye, his composition and staging and his use of space are at times breathtaking (not dissimilar to the once great J Carpenter) some of his editing techniques,use of sound and cinematic choices, although derivative do help push the story along rather well. He would in fact make a great art director, or DP as proven when you look at The Village, Signs or Unbreakable. Even Lady in the Water(although atrocious) had some really interesting visuals. In fact even the worst of Shyamalan's movies had...something.
The Happening however has nothing worth recommending, it is just a really,really bad movie! The dialogue was laughable, everything about it including the delivery was completely unreal, contrived to the point of absurdity. There were moments when Walberg(the main protagonist) was talking to his love interest played by Zooey Deschanel that actually had me laughing out loud, but of course this wasn't being played for laughs, this was apparently real drama! The cast wandered through this movie after having witnessed some truly horrific events talking and interacting as if they were on some kind of school nature ramble seemingly unaffected by the growing pandemic that surrounded them.
There was a scene whereby a group of the survivors are huddled around a cell phone watching some news footage of a zoo attack which again was Shymalan trying to hammer home the shock, senseless,desperate nature of the unspecified threat, but it came across more like a scene from America's Funniest home Videos.
If Shymalan was attempting to give us a some kind of poetical treatise on the barbarity of human nature or a lecture on intelligent design as others are speculating it was sorely lost in a mired, puerile movie that really makes me wonder how he could ever get anything green-lit again...
Then I heard he had signed on to direct Nicolodeon's three movie deal of Avatar. I just pray he is not involved in the script stage.
I thought I would share this, it was posted by a reviewer on IMDB.
This film is simple. It has flawed and awkward characters who don't always say the smoothest thing. Everyone is imperfect and they don't handle the situations in the best "hollywood" type manner. Shyamalan did this on purpose. This movie is not paced for the "entertain me entertain me entertain me entertain me" type audiences we have mostly become. You are given the elements, but it's up to you to be able to slow down and feel the emotions in order to appreciate the film. The parable and meaning are so much deeper and innocent than what is popularized in media today. It will challenge you. It will make you think.
God did that make me laugh...
Rent The Outpost starring Ray(Rome, Punisher)Stevenson, as at least it has Zombie Nazis in it.