BMN: The Happening

“We see bad movies so that we can truly appreciate the good ones.”
– Someone who (obviously) thinks we’re doing a service.

thehappening.jpgThree words: Em. Night. Shama-lame. That's right, Shyamalan finally gave audiences a follow up to his last amazing film (which was received "really well" across the board), and this time, like the last, he didn't disappoint.

This year's fare is a movie called "The Green Effect" "The Happening." The premise of the story is at some point in time the wind blows and, out of the blue, people stop what they're doing, repeat the last sentence they said about three times, walk backwards and then kill themselves as if they're robots. Sounds like an interesting concept, until M. Night grabs a hold of it. Which is precisely why "The Happening" is getting rotten reviews.

Shama-Lame Problem #1: You Wrote it for Who?
Uhhh, any movie written for Marky Mark (of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch) that's NOT a "here's where my career tanked" type of movie, is dumb. But that's precisely what Shyamalan did. And what did that get us? An overly horrible performance by an actor that somehow garnered an Oscar nom last year. Without Marky Mark, we wouldn't have had a science teacher bumbling through life with his precious mood ring, spouting out how to effectively decipher an experiment and deliver such classic lines as, "what? no." and "will someone give me a god-damned answer longer than one word!?!"

Shama-Lame Problem #2: Slow Motion
John Leguizamo is in the movie for, oh, 30 minutes and right before he dies he gets the old school slow motion goodbye. Why? I gave two one no shits about his character and he basically decided to off himself. Big deal. Then, again, we have ol' Marky Mark in slow motion screaming and diving towards a kid as the child gets shot. If only he would've dove in real-time, maybe he would've been shot, too.

Shama-Lame Problem #3: Foreshadowing Plots
If there's one thing that we've learned from M. Night, it's that everything in his movies have a purpose. The scenery, the characters and even the lines that are spoken. But this time, it was just too evident, and stupid. Everyone thinks the killings are terrorist attacks. But one person suspects it's the plants. Therefore, it's the plants. And how do we rationalize this? Because there's some plant that when being eaten by caterpillars, will emit some chemical to lure wasps over and kill the caterpillars. And there's your movie. We're caterpillars. Oh, and plants can talk to each other. And they hate us.

Shama-Lame Problem #4: The Moral of the Story
As if plants killing us wasn't silly enough, what's worse is the moral of the story -- natural occurring events happen all the time and we may never know why they happened. WHAT!?! THAT'S your a-ha moment? Shit happens and sometimes we'll never know why? Dude, you just painted yourself into a corner and then decided to break down the wall behind you. That's not how you tell a story! You can't say, "and then the plants tried to kill us, but we lived, and we'll never know why." You'll make people live in fear for the rest of their lives -- you're a terror-monger!

I understand that there ARE some things that we, as real-life humans, can't explain. But you don't get to do that in the movies, not like this. If you're going off the deep end, go off. If not, give us something to grasp onto. And don't even start to say you're Alfred Hitchcock and that you can leave things hanging., you're a far cry.

The redeeming factors of the movie, if these count:

It still blew.

+ original post date: July 2, 2008 09:45 AM
+ categories: Bad Movie Night


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Want more? Read this even better review!

+ author: seth
+ posted: July 2, 2008 10:20 AM

I can't believe you didn't mention the part where you leapt six feet out of your chair! I'll bet the theatre jockey is still bleaching the urine stains.

"What? Noooo!"

+ author: Ken
+ posted: July 2, 2008 12:48 PM

Yeah, I jumped. There were a few cringe-worthy moments. I'm a girl.

+ author: seth
+ posted: July 2, 2008 01:47 PM

Gotta love lines like "DON'T TAKE HER HAND UNLESS YOU MEAN IT!" and that awesome slap the old lady gave the little girl.

Here's some crap from the IMDB forums:

(1) If we stuck through the credits we'd have leared that Shymalan was indeed in it. He was Joey, an unseen character, who's only line was "Hello?"

(2) There's a small but vocal minority of people who say that most of us are stupid and not getting it because we missed minor details. Like the fact that it wasn't the plants at all, and a clue was a crack that appeared in the ground after the cop was shot.


We all noticed that crack, though, we laughted aloud about it. It wasn't a crack at all, it was arterial spray. :)

(3) Did anyone else the the boom mike? I did, it was in the upper left... I forget if it was in the model home or in the batshit crazy old lady's home. The lovers of this film are blaming theaters for not having their projectors aligned right... but I find it hard to believe that every theater has the same misalignment.

(4) Evidently the dialouge was intentionally bad and delivered awkwardly on purpose, and we'd understand why if only we were smart enough to figure out the movie.

+ author: ScooterJ
+ posted: July 2, 2008 04:18 PM

I gave up on Shama-lame after the "twist" to Signs was water killed super smart beings - as they landed on our planet that is over 75% water.

Last time Jonathan watched a Shama movie (lady water) I chose to paint the living room. I think I got the better deal.

+ author: Lacy
+ posted: July 22, 2008 06:12 PM

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