Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Happening (2008)


In finding a way to preface this review of sorts, I'll just say that this was quite possibly one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Despite that, it is shockingly still worth watching. I viewed this flick in a crowded auditorium, and while many did leave midway through, I can only assume the rest of us stayed because of the all-powerful train wreck watching feel this movie gives off. That person being carted into the ambulance with their arm severed, and the rest of their body looking like the T-1000 that just ate a grenade? Yeah, that's this movie.

*** What I'll be going into are a lot of spoilers, and I'll also go into the ending, so if you really, REALLY want to be surprised, I'd suggest waiting to read the rest. ***

We begin pretty much with scenes depicted in the first trailer. If you haven't seen it, you can peep that right here:



So, in Central Park, all of these people start acting like the comedy troupe of about 200 or so people that decided to just stand still in Grand Central Station. There's no rhyme or reason for this, they just do. After they stand still, get this, they start walking BACKWARDS! WHAT. THE. FUCK. I'm spooked, really. Then they kill themselves in creative ways, like by stabbing themselves, clawing at themselves, and shooting themselves in the head.

At this point, I feel I should point out I'm describing the redshirts in the movie, not the folks in the comedy troupe, but man, wouldn't that be a helluva gag for those guys to pull off if they did start offing themselves. Am I right?!?

I digress...We then cut to Mark Wahlberg, who is, what else, a teacher. He's also the worst, and least confident teacher I've ever seen. It's just question after question he keeps asking his class about the whole, "why are bees disappearing" thing. It begins to feel like he really doesn't know, at which point I expect to hear, "No, really, I'm asking you because I really have no clue as to why they're disappearing." Did I mention he's a teacher in Philly? Sadly, there is no Fresh Prince to be seen. His class is interrupted, because they're sending everyone home due to THE HAPPENING that is going on in Central Park, and I would assume, the rest of New York.

There's also this whole subplot with Zooey Deschanel as Marky Mark's cheating wife, except she doesn't cheat, she has Flan, or some other type of horrid dessert with another man, which really bugs her. She shows you it bugs her because she makes silly faces at her phone whenever this guy calls. One could assume that these faces she makes are to convey concern, feeling uncomfortable, or even guilt, but it really just looks like she is making faces at a baby. Again, I am not making any of this up. I wish I could. THE HAPPENING ends up happening to the guy on the phone, by the way. I'm sure you all really wanted to know.

So, Marky Mark, the girl from Elf, John Leguizamo, and a little girl playing his daughter all hop on a train as THE HAPPENING happens in Philly. Spookily enough, the train STOPS in the middle of nowhere. WHAT A TWIST! THE HAPPENING is happening so much that the train conductors lose contact with the outside world. It should also be noted that it is at this time believed that terrorists are using some type of chemical weapon that's causing THE HAPPENING. One would think, why not just keep going on the train until the whole thing passes. If that were the case, we would be left with a 30 minute movie, and we would be deprived of every other hokey, and campy scene in the movie.

Well, all of these people on the train panic because they believe THE HAPPENING will soon happen to them. They all get the fuck out of Dodge, and so does Marky Mark, the girl from Elf, and the little girl. They get a ride from some creepy fuck and his wife, both of whom like, get this, HOT DOGS! HILARIOUS! They're also botanists and explain that it's plants doing this, as they're producing toxins as a defense mechanism so people in populated areas kill themselves.

For those keeping score, the plants are all like, "Fuck your global warming! Time to die, bitches!" and the people are all like "AHHHHHH! TERRORISTS!" Somewhere along the way, John Leguizamo slices his wrists (Remember kids: down the street, not across tracks), creepy guy and his wife who look like extras from House of a 1000 Corpses and like hot dogs (I'm still laughing) shoot themselves (I think, I was too busy laughing about the hot dogs), and a bunch of other people fall victim to THE HAPPENING.

Our main protagonists due not fall victim though, not yet, and they, along with two kids are on the run. THEY HAPPEN...I mean...They happen to find a house inhabited by some other people who have survived. It is here that M. Night decides to tell you that he is not fucking around, as the two kids (none of which is the little girl) get savagely murdered by the people in the house. Oh no, it's not THE HAPPENING that claims these two kids as victims, it's just some people who believe in good ol' fashion kid slaying to protect their home.

Now, you may be thinking, "Hey, this all takes place in Pennsylvania, people are turning on each other, and people are dying pretty easily: Is this a zombie movie?" Sorry to say, it isn't. If all of these people reanimated though, holy shit would this be an awesome movie.

Well, anyway, we near the end, where our heroes find what they assume to be an abandoned house. They are wrong though, as the house is owned by an old crazy lady, who for no reason at all, lets our heroes stay the night. She even cooks them dinner. How nice. While this movie jumped the rails about five minutes in, we finally reach the apex of how ridiculous this has been. The lady gets even crazier, warns Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch about stealing from her, and soon THE HAPPENING happens to the old lady. Marky Mark gives this old woman a dead behind the eyes stare as she shambles around the outside of the house, banging her head against the walls to kill herself, she also crashes her head through a window. Marky Mark can only exclaim an exasperated "Nooo." The wind, teaming with THE HAPPENING or midichlorians or whatever it is that causes THE HAPPENING, poors?, blows through the broken window. Marky Mark heads into another room and shuts the door behind him, but where is the Funky Bunch? Well, turns out they're in a spring house of sorts behind the main house. There's a pipe that connects the two homes that you can talk through. So Marky Mark and his Funky Bunch believe they're having their last conversation, decide it's the end and they're going to go outside to die. Wouldn't ya know it though, there is no more HAPPENING happening, and they live.

While the unassuming believe it's over, THE HAPPENING happens in France. YES! SEQUEL!

So, this was horrible. M. Night looks to be doing what we call damage control, calling this "the greatest B movie of all time." Well, call it whatever you want, but this was beyond bad. Really bad. It's such a great concept too, and could really say a lot about what's happening (sorry, no running gag here) to our planet, but instead he chose to make a really shitty film with bad acting. I give this the highest recommendation I can give a movie you want to sit down and make fun of with friends.

1 comment:

Jimmy Jarred said...

The movie is failure at many levels. It is poorly executed and badly acted. There are no twist and turns to capture the interest of the viewers.
Watch The Happening Movie