I was not looking forward to seeing M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening as his last 3 movies weren’t worth the time, money and effort to see. His one and only good film was/is The Sixth Sense and it is obvious he peaked with that.
How he gets strong leading men like Bruce Willis, Joaquin Phoenix, Mel Gibson and Mark Wahlberg in addition to getting backing to make/direct another movie is beyond me.
IF The Happening doesn’t put an end to his career I will be very surprised. Rod Serling use to do this kind of story, and much better, in an half hour of The Twilight Zone.
The only thing to recommend in this movie is one scene where Mark Wahlberg talks to a plastic tree and can’t believe he is talking to a plastic tree.
Should you like to see a tiger tear out a person’s arms, among a few other shock for shock’s value scenes, then you might enjoy this.
There is no suspense, very few if any scenes to scare the audience, a muddled story with one of the worst explanations at the end for what has happened and little, if any, logic to the whole thing.
What to say about the actors? Mark is good as always in a thankless role and hopefully John Leguizamo spent his check for his very short, ridiculous role on some enjoyable things. Ashlyn Sanchez gives one of the worst, most dour, wooden performances ever given by a child actress. I don’t think I have ever seen Zooey Deschanel in a movie before and I hope I don’t see her again. She is so uncomfortable on screen that she made me uncomfortable and I avoided looking at her whenever I could.
Betty Buckly has, basically, what is a cameo in the movie and she looked and acted like she was auditioning for the role of Norma Desmond in the musical version of Sunset Boulevard-wish she has broken out with a few songs in this!
Talking about songs-all I could think of during the whole film was the song I Talk To The Trees from Paint Your Wagon!
There is some good photography by Tak Fujimoto and maybe M. Night Shyamalan is responsible for the direction of some beautiful scenes in Central Park and parts of Pennsylvania but after the first mass suicide (and I don’t usually say much about specific scenes in movies) the shock value and the ‘look’ of each following mass suicide loses it’s punch.
Last, but certainly not least, for a first time showing the actual print of the film was all messed up: out of, scratchy, blurry, etc. and it was not the fault of the theatre or their projector.
I heartily recommend that you miss this in any shape, form or manner.