Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel
Elliot: Plastic……I’m talking to a plastic plant……I’m still doing it.
Something unknown is causing people to kill themselves all over the northeastern United States. Elliot (Wahlberg) and Alma (Deschanel) are on the run from whatever it is, along with a bunch of other people.
I knew going in that this movie has been blasted by critics and moviegoers. I also happened to know all the secrets of the movie. Basically it was like I had seen it before, so in a situation like that, my enjoyment of a film will rely mostly on the look of the film, the characters, and the actors’ performances.
In this case, it looks good, but the characters and actors ruined it for me. I thought Wahlberg and Deschanel really didn’t know what to do with the characters and the dialogue. In most of his movies, Shyamalan has had actors (like Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson) who can play serious and light comedy both equally well, but in this case it just doesn’t work. Though, to be fair, the dialogue is also to blame. It’s not nearly as clever or interesting as Shyamalan’s better movies, and neither is the central relationship between Elliot and Alma. I never really bought it throughout, so the scene near the end that’s supposed to be touching didn’t really have much affect.
The first 10-15 minutes of the movie is a nice set-up with the disturbing suicides, but once the theorizing starts and the characters start running from THE WIND, it really loses steam. There’s also way too many plot conveniences, like radios that are found at just the right time to turn them on and hear a critical piece of information, etc.
While I didn’t think this was as terrible as a lot of people are saying, it’s still a lackluster effort. It’s almost like Shyamalan got this new idea and wanted to rush it out to theaters as fast as possible, with no time to write a good script. Better characters, dialogue and performances would have elevated this up to a very watchable film.
10 – 2.4 for poor characters/acting – 2 for bad dialogue + .3 for the good opening = 5.9