What's Happenin' My Manalan?

The Happening

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.


Chandles said...

Besides missing the POW!POW! twist factor of Shamalama's other films, there was actually just no climax at all. I suppose the point where you think they'll all die is meant to be that moment, but it falls so flat. I think this one might have been at least PASSABLE if you hadn't known the ENTIRE film what the secret was - from the very beginning we get all the cheesy shots of wind blowing through trees and bushes and crap, and then there's the plant-talking crazy, there's no question at any point in this movie what it is that's making people kill themselves. And to further lamify the movie was the Zooey/Marky drama - which wasn't really a drama at all but merely the fact that she went out to dinner with some guy? Super lame. And marky mark as a chemistry teacher? I'd believe the Sixth Sense was truth before I believed that.

Dropkick said...

apparently i must stay far far away from this one indeed. Jules looked over to me moments ago and for no reason brought up how much he detests this flick.

i turned to him and said "yeah, i know you told me"
to which he replied
"i just can't believe how bad it was you know? it was awful."

I've had costumers throw this one across the counter at me telling me what a steamer it is.

too bad, i was never too big of an M. Night fan. i didn't like the 6th sense, i saw signs in the theater and couldn't sleep for a week i was so scurred. I know the twist with the water is lame. but uh, hanging out in a basement while aliens are running around is the most terrifying thing i've ever heard. fuck. aliens are fucking freaky man. but yeah signs was bad.

but UNBREAKABLE is one of my fave films of all time. With that picture he really does prove he is worthy of being heralded as the new Hitchcock.
Village was weak, only because the twist was shit. that idea of monsters around a village, fuck that's a cool idea.
and whatever to this. yes...
oh who's seen lady in the water? is that any good?

ok i gotta sniff this sharpie for a bit. ciao ciao

Worsenfunk said...

Yeah it's a pretty easy target, i gotta say.

Britarded said...

I was always of the opinion that Shyamalan was a great suspense director but not so great a writer. I'd really like to see what he would do with a script from someone else because his movies always have really strong moments but ultimately reveal themselves as giant bum nuggets.