2008 might become to be known as a year renowned for a re-birth in (North!) American environmental consciousness with the victory of president elect Barack Obama, who has made no secret of his plans to mitigate the tax breaks given to Shell oil and other world-destroying international conglomerates, and the national recognition of ‘global warming (warnings?)’ as a legitimate cause. M. Night Shamanana pays lip service to the movement with his film The Happening. Perhaps it was his intention to become Hollywood’s token ‘we’re so progressive on social issues’ movie of the year (re: ‘Crash’). This film, however, will be remembered, at best, as Sarah Palin’s principal information source for her comments on global warming. It takes the 'Al' out of 'Al Gore'. The film pivots from Mark Wahlberg’s performance, who suffers from ‘lost child syndrome’ the entire time, always confused and posing line after line of dialogue as questions. But you can’t blame the guy or the character he plays, when the movie is absent of any plot-line or meaning; his confusion mirrors the viewers as they both realize there’s no content here at all. Not even the legendary ‘Shammy Twist’ at the end! Basically what ‘happens’ is 91 minutes of people committing mass-suicide because the earth has had it with the humans. Early in the film, when a seriously cracked out green-house hermit man talks about plants talking to each other and defending themselves, I 'naturally' dismissed him as a token ‘crazy country bumpkin’ type. But he is the prophet here; the ‘environment’ systematically breaks into human craniums and presses the ‘self-destruct’ button hidden in the depths of all our brains. If your searching for a top five selection for a movie to appear in subsequent episodes of ‘Mystery Science Theater 6000’ here’s your man; if you’re looking for anything else look far, far away.