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Stills from The Happening (Click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
I have to admit, I liked the first half of this film, the buildup wasn't bad, and the script was pretty good. But then somewhere near the middle, during a scene where the protagonists exited a train, the movie went off the rails.
The last half of this film was a huge disappointment. The happening seemed to attack everyone but the lead characters, and the movie turned into a spoof of itself. The ending was flat, and you are left with an emotionless feeling; a sense of "why did I watch this" washes over you.
Unlike many people who reviewed The Happening, I am a fan of M. Night. I loved Signs, Unbreakable and Lady In The Water. But The Happening is not cut from the same mold. The script, especially the dialog, are horrendous and read about as hokey as it gets.
Rent before you buy this movie.
Shyamalan has languished ever since, but only because he ended up falling for his own hype. He tried (and, I believe) set up an equally satisfying emotional bedrock in Unbreakable, but he expected his twist in that film to BE the resolution, instead of supplementing it. Bad idea. A twist is NOT a conclusion.
His characters and his conflict and even his conclusion were more solidly established in Signs, but -- whoops -- he was dead-set on tacking on one of his patented twists, and the story he'd created didn't really need one, so the twist came across as being not just unnecessary, but also ludicrous.
...Read more ›
After a rash of apparent suicides, the government believes New York is under attack by terrorists. Enter School Science Teacher played by Mark Wahlberg. He and his family and friends flee the city, hoping to escape. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any escape from the biological weapon which kills without warning.
I knew the film was going to be bad the moment the one girl removed a long hair stick and impaled herself with it. I thought to myself, please tell me this is not going to be a guts and gore film. Unfortunately, it does appear to be the case. Gore won out over the big mystery of 'what was happening' to the citizens, and from there, it just sort of escalated. The mystery was lost, as we are treated to about a dozen senseless suicides, which were meant to underscore the seriousness of the biological weapon, but instead gave the film a really silly slasher quality.
Mark's character Elliot and John Leguizamo's character were about the only characters I cared about. I could not stand Zooey Deschanel's acting and her droopy character, and Julian's kid just added nothing to the screenplay, except a tagalong and an excuse for Elliot and Alma to not get the heck out of Dodge as quickly as possible.
Overall, I was disappointed in this film. I am accustomed to rather clever films from Shyamalan, and this film just seemed to lack direction, and be rather obvious. The limp half-hearted explanation of events at the end of the film was just silly, as was the forced romance between Elliot and Alma who had little chemistry. This film just left me unsatisfied.
M. Night Shyamalan executes on this charming premise with a deliberate eye to the sci-fi B-movie, both in style and theme, with lashings of gore, a cheesy score, and expository dialogue that at times sounds more like a textbook. Sadly, however, it doesn't entirely work. Shyamalan's no fool. He wouldn't make a B-movie without a specific intention. So what's going on here? Is the substance connected to the style? Does Shyamalan want us to go back to the 1950s? Is he trying to tell us that cities are bad? Is he echoing E. F. Schumacher's cry that "small is beautiful"? Or is this a response to misplaced moral hysteria around 9/11? Falling bodies around 9.00am on a New York Tuesday certainly stir the echoes. Is he saying there are bigger threats to worry about than a few ideologues in planes; that 9/11, though a tragic event for those involved, is ultimately a miniscule blip compared to our disastrous global environmental trajectory? Or is it simply a musing on the fragility of humankind and the paucity of our knowledge? He'd be right on all counts, of course. But his intention is never clear.
As an argument the film isn't very convincing, and as a piece of entertainment it's worse.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Shyamalan wrote, directed, produced, and excreted this movie. The lead role should have had Dom Deluise, but he would rather die than be in this dud. Read morePublished 11 days ago by email@example.com
Barbra is brilliant. From 1967 when she was reaching the heights of her newly found fame. She was about to make the movie Funny Girl.Published 1 month ago by Eb&Flo
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