BMN: Lady in the Water

Oh how the mighty have fallen, and fallen hard, at that. M. Night Shyamalan was, at one time, one of the hottest up and coming directors in show biz. After “The Sixth Sense,” it appeared that he was destined for stardom. Then came “Unbreakable,” which left fans thinking that maybe he was a one-hit wonder. But he bounced back big time with “Signs,” or, rather, 95% of the movie was good (that ending STILL bugs me). In his last film, “The Village,” audiences were unsure what to think, and critics gave it Shyamalan’s worst Rotten Tomato score to date. That was true until “Lady in the Water” came out.

I was a Shyamalan fan until the ending of Signs. The Village, while mildly suspenseful, wasn’t ground breaking because we’ve been conditioned to wait for Shyamalan’s twist – there’s always a twist – and the twist was easy to predict.

The only thing twisting now is M. Night’s scores on After blasting an 83% with The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan has crashed down to the depths with a 22% for Lady in the Water.

Was it a 22%? Oh my, was it, and then some. Below are the things that made this M. Night Shyamalan movie one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen... [WARNING: The rest of this review will contain spoilers, you’ve been warned.]

Is The Cove (where the story took place) a hotel or an apartment building?
As if Shyamalan planned it himself, no one who lives there knows, nor do they care. My guess, since NO ONE went to work (except for the movie critic – more on him in a second), is that it was a hotel. That doesn’t matter, though, just ignore the fact that most everyone who lived/stayed there was always there.

Everyone who lives at The Cove is quirky.
You’ve got the stoners, the cat lady, the Asian-American girl with the mom who speaks no English, the hispanic family that speaks no English, the middle eastern family (only weird because M. Night was a prominent character), the crossword puzzle guy and odd son, the guy who only lifts weight with one arm and the stuttering landlord. Because that’s how it is in real life at apartmentotels... I ALWAYS notice those people.

Stop beating us over the head!
I think within the first 15 minutes of the movie we learn the moral of the story – everyone has a purpose. Okay, that’s fine to do... but you don’t have to tell us over and over and over and over and over and over an... sorry.

We saw that already in Scream.
The character who worked as a movie critic was lame. Shyamalan was totally “stringing us along” and leading us in a way we thought was right. You see, since everyone has a purpose in the story, we had to figure out who the pieces to the puzzle were. So the movie critic was helping us identify who each person was in the puzzle. Boy was he wrong and boy was I fooled (psyche). The critic even had a scene where he was talking about how in this part of the movie, I’ll do this and then this will happen. So clever.

Fairy Tales are real!
Or at least everyone at the apartmentotel willingly believes in them, with no qualms. But I believe that, because if someone came to me and said that there’s this water nymph that needs protection from a grass wolf before getting picked up by a giant eagle, I’d be game. Even when the water nymph is laying there, practically dead, I wouldn’t question if the fairy tale were real and take her straight to the hospital... no way, I’d debate God’s purpose for all of us involved.

The twist... oooooo, the twist!
Sit down, because if you haven’t seen this movie, this will blow your mind. The twist in Lady in the Water is that there is no twist!!! Genius! Well, wait... could the twist be that we thought we knew who each person should’ve been in the puzzle, but didn’t? No, that’s stupid. Oo, oo, oo! I know what it is... it was the three giant stick monkeys that came and saved the day at the end! Genius. Good job Shyamalan.

People, this movie was bad and so un-believable. Not that his other films weren’t, but this one was a bit too preachy and over the top. Sadly enough, this movie has garnered such rotten reviews that Shyamalan is thinking that he won’t add his name to the credits of his next project – “The Life of Pi.” That’ll teach us to critique!

+ original post date: August 9, 2006 09:58 AM
+ categories: Bad Movie Night


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+ author: bill
+ posted: August 14, 2006 06:29 PM

Good find, Bill! What this means, everyone, is that Shyamalan is way too smart for us and that we need guided tours for each of his upcoming films. Planned or not, executed poorly or not, movies don't need to be this complex -- this could've been told in a giant HBO mini-series and it would've been better.

You can't agree with movie critics all the time, but if they're not picking up on this (and that's what they're supposed to do), then its doubtful the common movie-goer will.

As another person stated on the message board, if I took the time I could make Battlefield Earth seem like a great movie.

+ author: Seth
+ posted: August 14, 2006 06:42 PM

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