This morning I caught the $6 matinee of The Happening, and I have not yet figured out how to get those $6 back.
Specific complaints about The Happening:
1. Nobody gave a good performance. If Mark Wahlberg had performed this poorly in his first film he'd be in New Mexico doing whip-its in the employee lounge at Target. A good director should be able to coax a good performance out of a potato.
2. The dialogue was so incredibly poorly written. Not only where the actors forced to say stupid shit (ex. At one point Marky decides that they must run faster than wind. Good luck, Tiger, that should be cake.) they also spoke in an incredibly unnatural fashion (cute on West Wing, as West Wing is clever, not cute here.)
3. The music was awful. Both intrusive, and also not good.
4. The wind blowing the trees thing. So cheesy B movie.
5. The incredibly not awesome scene with Marky's high school class. Did any of these people ever attend a high school? Just curious.
6. The lack of funny. The hallmark of a great suspense/monster movie is occasional breaks of wry humor. (Additionally, where were the sub-villians, the yucky (or irritating) people that cuase mini-struggles that Marky should have faced. The ones you kind of hope would kill themselves with their own tie, etc. Creepy old dame does not count.)
7. The treatment of the whole plant scenario. I do not need to know why the scary thing occurs. Frankenstein made a monster and it is OK if I'm fuzzy on how he connected the nerves. Furthermore, how much better would the movie have been if while Marky was blundering through building evidence and creating and discarding hypotheses, we were learning of their validity with cut scenes from news or scientists? Half the fun of suspense movies is knowing something just before the lead finds out.
8. The whole bee thing. You can have bees or you can have trees, but you don't need both. Well shit, why don't you throw in some seas, knees, and keys.
9. Marky as the flawed hero. In order to be a flawed hero, you need to be a hero.
10. Copying one of the worst concepts in the remake of The War of the Worlds by using the plot device of the super religious hermit lady. Why include needless details like this? Something that the most recent remake of I am Legend did really well was bringing the danger to a psychological level. They didn't really even need monsters, they had Will Smith, alone in the world that he destroyed with no hope of ever seeing his family again. In this same way they could have had Marky and his wife and the kid struggling through a world where they would need to protect themselves from themselves.
11. When people don't like to talk about their feelings, they don't spend lots of time talking about how they don't like to talk about feelings. You get me?
12. Lost potential. This movie could have been good, it could have been fantastic. But it wasn't. I've found a lot of criticisms of Shyamalan's work to usually be weak and prejudiced. But this time have at him; this movie was just junk. There was not one remdeamable thing in this film, other than the most basic premise of a land-based red tide causing people to kill themselves. I love Mark Wahlberg, I love Zooey Deschanel, I love these sorts of apocolyptic horror/thrillers. This movie should have been Quiana-nip. I am disgusted.
I should have seen Kung Fu Panda, or The Hulk. Or stayed home and had a nap or mopped.