Review Date: July 18, 2008
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Producers: M. Night Shyamalan, Barry Mendel, Sam Mercer
Mark Wahlberg as Elliot
Zooey Deschanel as Alma
John Leguizamo as Julian
The lead actors were okay, with Mark Wahlberg playing Mark Wahlberg really well throughout the entire picture, while Zooey Deschanel continued to prove that she’s an adorable person, even when the planet Earth is seemingly dying all around her (although as an adult wife, she seemed more like a 12-year old for the first half of the movie). Someone should finance a documentary on her eyes alone though…wow, have you seen those things?!? But back to the actors. I thought John Leguizamo did a great job as the torn father, but a couple of the secondary characters seemed a little too over-the-top or just plain “weird”, under the circumstances. For example, why was the Army dude they ran into, a total doofus? And how come that old crazy woman was so friggin’ crazy? And even though I liked the “hot dog guy”, what was his deal? But on the whole, the film peaked my interest all the way through, didn’t outstay its welcome by any stretch of the imagination (in fact, I wished it had been a little longer with greater depth) and offered a ton of cruel and unusual suicides throughout its runtime. And while I did appreciate all that, I also thought that the killings seemed a little gratuitous after a while, the small girl in the movie was way too “cool” under the circumstances and the film felt redundant more than gratifying, once all was said and done.
That said, I think most critics have been overly-brutal toward this film and Shyamalan, and in this case, undeservedly so. The film still boasts plenty of creepy atmosphere, a heaping of suspense and memorable images, and ultimately sends a “good message” out there. It isn’t perfect though, so go into it with reservations and you may just enjoy it a lot more than most people. As for me, I’m going to ask Miss Deschanel’s eyes to marry me. Wish me luck! As for all those people complaining about “plot holes” or that the “why” of the movie ultimately was too far-fetched…if you pretend that the film is science-fiction, does that make it better? If it does, then pretend it’s sci-fi and go with it, asshole. It’s a fuckin’ movie, not a documentary about the planet earth.