Caught two movies this weekend, the second was M. Night Shymalan's The Happening, with Mark Walhburg and Zooey Deschenal. I have to say that I really hated this movie. From premise to casting to effects, I was disapointed. M. Night has not had the most successful box office results from his last few films, though I enjoyed Lady in the Water and The Village moe than the critics did.
With The Happening, I just couldn't get into it. The premise is that plant life in northeast America strikes back at humanity with an airborn infection that overrides man's ability to self regulate the behaviors that prevent us from killing ourselves. Walhburg is a high school science teacher who flees Philadelphia with his slightly estranged wife, played by Deschenal, and his best friend and his daughter. I had a had time buyng Walhburg as a science teacher first, a guy who has a history of playing tougher characters, I never bought his as the thinker. I'm a fan of Deschenal, but she was against type in this movie as the introverted and troubled wife. She is better at playing quirky and outspoken characters. Even the ancillary characters are poorly fleshed out, I never really developed a bond or rooted for any of them.
The twist, the benchmark of the M. Night film, is that there really isn't a twist. Tack on the R rating, which really wasn't that distrubing to begin with, and I was wondering just what the intent was. The movie came across as preachy as self important, and I just didn't like it. I got the message, we need to listen and cure the damage that we are doing to the Earth, but it was so ham fisted in presentation that you dn't really asorb anything.
I also just wanted to say that there are a few CGI scenes that honestly I thought belonged on a Sci-Fi orginal movie. Poor cut and paste efforts, if you happen to see the movie look particulary in the lion's den clip. I just expect more from a real Hollywood movie, and from it's writer/director.
At any rate, skip The Happening.
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