Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.
M. Night Shyamalan
Bryce Dallas Howard,
A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millennium after events forced humanity's escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help.
Coming together to solve a series of murders in New York City are a police detective whose family was slain as part of a conspiracy and an assassin out to avenge her sister's death. The duo will be hunted by the police, the mob, and a ruthless corporation.
Elliot Moore is a high school science teacher who quizzes his class one day about an article in the New York Times. It's about the sudden, mysterious disappearance of bees. Yet again Nature is doing something inexplicable, and whatever science has to say about it will be, in the end, only a theory. Scientists will bring out more theories, but no explanations, when a more urgent dilemma hits the planet. It begins in Central Park. Suddenly and inexplicably, the behavior of everyone in the park changes in a most bizarre and horrible way. Soon, the strange behavior spreads throughout the city and beyond. Elliot, his wife, Alma, and Jess, the young daughter of a friend, will only have theories to guide them where to run and where to hide. But theories may not be enough. Written by
not a real 'worst-movie-ever' like Lady in the Water... more like a high-budget/high-on-itself Ed Wood flick
M. Night Shyamalan, sad to say, was a case of a fluke in Hollywood. This isn't to say that he hasn't had some good moments in movies like Unbreakable and Signs (more-so for the former), but The Sixth Sense, one of the great big wonderkind stories of the 90s has manifested itself with its creator churning out pieces of, frankly, crap upon its unwitting audience. This isn't to say that because his first few hits he wont make more movies- matter of fact he's apparently working on an Avatar picture (not the James Cameron one, the kid-anime one)- but following the Village, which took the ludicrous 'twist' ending to new horrific heights, and Lady in the Water which is, at least to me, a true unmitigated disaster unleashed on to celluloid, The Happening continues the thread of total nonsense in the guise of thoughtful blockbuster stuff.
Point of order: The Happening's title first opens up the potential pit-falls for jokes on the title alone (does anyone else not picture a 60s flower-power flick?), and indeed "something's happening" or "it's happened" or some variation is said enough times to merit a drinking game after it. But then the actual movie, from its opening scenes all the way to the last, are so ridiculous in nearly every step of the way for the same basic reasons that Edward D. Wood Jr's movies are still totally ridiculous failures: give actors a screenplay that is loaded with laughably hackneyed dialog (at one point the Zooey Deschanal character says, and I quote, "Just when you thought there couldn't be any more evil that can be invented"), delivered by more or less (usually less) competent actors with straight faces as they are put into a stupid sci-fi premise. In this case a mighty wind of sorts, or rather some chemical coming from the plants that are angry or incensed via nature's wrath or whatever the hell, is attacking the cities and towns of the northeast and the Moore family (Walhberg and Deschanal and daughter) run from it.
Yep, that's right, a lot of the movie is just characters running from the wind- with the occasional pit stop for Wahlberg to talk to a plastic plant- and from scene to scene there is just one incredibly laughable inanity after another. To give some very minor credit where it's due, it's not always the fault of the direction; as was the case in the Village there are one or two moments that do reveal some sort of 'vision' in the works, a shot or two that stand out as impressive... and then we get put back into the "what-the-bleep" clockwork of this overwrought "message" movie that says, apparently, that what we don't know from nature and probably can't know since we can't really trust science will kill us. And all the while Shyamalan almost creates something inadvertently very entertaining; I can imagine the Happening becoming one of those classic bad movies years from now, so entirely dumbfounding with its totally serious-toned acting, dead-pan dialog and awfully staged violence (i.e. lion feeding, lawnmower) that one can't help but find it riotous.
Maybe Shyamalan can continue his career that way, who knows? One thing is for certain: the guy is NOT the next Hitchcock or the next Spielberg. He's lucky the wind hasn't knocked him off his feet completely.
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