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18. The Happening (2008)

16 Jan

Roger’s Rating :

Should be :

Roger gave this movie 3 stars which means he thinks it is well worth seeing. I don’t get it. If there was ever a 1 star movie made then this was it. 5.2 on IMDB and an 18% fresh rating on  Rotten Tomatoes. I guess most people don’t like this movie. Why? The movie is based on the premise that there is not only a chemical in the brain that keeps you from killing yourself, but that this chemistry can be reversed and then you will (be forced to?) kill yourself. When the movie is based on such a crazy premise it is hard to take it seriously. It was nominated for Razzies for Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Mark Wahlberg), Worst Director (M. Night Shyamalan) and Worst Screenplay.
Roger said in his review that he found the movie “oddly touching”. Oddly is the key word here. We have a girl sticking a sewing needle into her throat,  the “It’s raining men scene”,  people shooting themselves in the head, a zoo worker begging the lions to bite his arms off (which they do), tree workers hanging themselves, a guy driving his car into the tree, Julian slitting his wrists and a mother listening to her daughter kill herself on the phone. Oddly touching indeed.
The high school science teacher, Eliot (Mark Wahlberg), has some great lines. Talking to himself he says “All right, be scientific, douchebag” as people are shooting themselves to death all around him. Mark figures out that the plants may be releasing chemicals to try to kill people. In one of the worst scenes in screen history, Eliot starts talking to a plant. He says “Hello? My name is Elliot Moore. I’m just going to talk in a very positive manner … giving off good vibes. We’re just here to use the bathroom. Then we’re just going to leave. I hope that’s okay.”
On we go. How many more gruesome ways can we find for humans to kill themselves? People lie down in front of a riding lawn mower. Kids take shotgun blasts to the head. An old woman puts her head through a window – twice! Oddly touching indeed.
Roger closes his review saying “I suspect I’ll be in the minority in praising this film. It will be described as empty, uneventful, meandering.” You were right about being in a minority Roger but I don’t think you picked the right adjectives. I would go with ridiculous, preposterous and ludicrous.
In its recent survey of Worst Movies Of All Time Empire Magazine had this turkey come in at number 8 and Inside Movies named it one of the worst movies of the decade.
You know, I worry about the bumblebees too, but not enough to like this movie.
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1 Comment

Posted by on January 16, 2010 in Roger's Worst

 

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One response to “18. The Happening (2008)

  1. James Gray

    August 29, 2010 at 12:58 am

    I thought this movie was entertaining. There is a fine line between “enjoyable” and “good” that isn’t always easy to differentiate. Ebert likes to recommend movies that fulfills their duty. A “B” movie can be recommended if he enjoys it.

     
 
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