disclosure. I was one of the
few people who didn’t like The Sixth Sense.
I even saw it twice to give it a chance.
That said, I went
to see Signs, also by Writer/Director
M. Night Shyamalan of The Sixth Sense, with trepidation.
With justification; compared with Signs, The Sixth Sense is
Casablanca and Citizen Kane rolled into one!
though this is science fiction, this is a movie without a point or reason,
although it struggles to make some sort of point about loss of faith.
The script is trite, and the acting worse, especially the children,
Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin. Shyamalan
must have put out a casting call for children who mumbled their lines and
who couldn’t be understood if your life depended on it.
If so, he got what he wanted. There
should be subtitles when these children speak.
In another part, Cherry Jones plays a cop.
She is just unbelievable. I’m
not using that word like you say, “wow, unbelievable!”
She’s unbelievable as a cop. In
fact, it looked to me as if she’d be unbelievable in any role, cop or no.
I kept picturing Frances McDormand in the role.
But that was wishful thinking. Ms.
McDormand wouldn’t waste her talents on tripe like this.
Being in this film would diminish almost anyone.
the bad acting by Cherry and Culkin and Breslin is consistent with the
quality of this film, which has no discernable raison d’etre.
When the movie ends, you say to yourself, “well, so what?”
It lacks anything that would involve the viewer.
It’s not scary, or frightening, or tense, or romantic, or anything
else. Oh, it’s got the
occasional cheap shock, aided by music that reminds you to jump if what you
see on the screen isn’t that moving, but these shocks are bromidic at
holes appear in the corn crop of Graham Hess (Mel Gibson), he and his
brother, Merrill (Joaquin
Phoenix), a former minor league baseball player, somehow instinctively know
how to defend their house and family. Pretty
amazing since they have no idea who is causing the holes, although they
deduce it from television reports.
Signs is maladroit. When a
flashlight is turned on in a darkened basement it’s like the sun rising! This single flashlight has enough power to light up the City
of Los Angeles. I’m not
giving anything away when I tell you that Shyamalan wants you to believe
that extraterrestrials could conquer space, create the crop designs, come
from light years away to earth, but can’t get in a basement with a door
blocked by an ax. These are surely the dumbest extraterrestrials in the
apparently wanted to mimic Orson Welles’ photography in Citizen Kane where
the 25 year-old Welles pioneered ceiling shots and odd angles.
Shyamalan likes to shoot from the floor. Suffice it to say that Shyamalan is no Welles.
movie is devoid of everything. There’s
nothing funny. I saw nothing
scary. There’s nothing to
deduce. There’s no real plot,
except survival. There’s no
lesson. It’s dark. There’s
a lot of wearisome talk. The one good thing about it is that it’s over in
one hour and 47 minutes. The
bad thing is to think what a terrible waste it was of an hour and 47
I’m being too kind.