I finally saw it. I didn’t like it.
This heckle has lots of spoilers, because the point is that you ain’t gonna watch this movie for the story.
Nngh — there. Did I get it now? No? Damn spinach.
Fans and high-contrast photography do not a movie make. Sure, it was beautiful, but you could have Rosario Dawson and Brittany Murphy just thumb-wrestle in three-point lighting and I`d be happy looking at it. The problem is if you’re going to ask me to hold my bladder for two hours you need to inspire more from me than “Rosario Dawson is hot” or “destroying a man’s genitals is gross” (happens three times, in case the first time doesn’t grab you.) I dig violence in the service of a story (i.e. Kill Bill; and I dig hot fighting ladies when when they have room to run around (i.e. The Mummy Returns) and don’t have to act in a box like they’re in the cast of Saved By the Bell.
An example of the main problem with this movie is that a man sacrifices his life to save a girl TWICE, and I didn’t feel an emotion either time. I wanted to — I liked Bruce Willis, I liked Jessica Alba, I wanted them to be happy, but this movie kept whomping me on the head with so much voice-over, exposition, music and violence that there was no room to breathe. Everything that happened had the same significance and intensity, so the story had all the emotional dynamic of a dog whistle.
Another example of the main problem with this movie is how Carla Gugino’s behaviors were all as demanding and arbitrary as a Bop-It: I`m hanging out naked with a giant, unstable parolee; I`m captured by a cannibal serial killer, and although there are a couple of reasons he might have singled me out, we won’t address any of them; I`m hysterical that the cannibal ate my hand and, you know, made me WA-A-A-ATCH; I`m perfectly calm; I`m whomping Marv on the back of the head like this movie is doing the audience; I`m marching blithely up to the police during a full-tilt, adrenaline-fueled raid; I`m getting gunned down so extensively that I`m not sure if it’s supposed to be funny. Who was this woman? Was I supposed to care?
Once I realized I wasn’t going to be able to relate to anyone in this picture, I was able to commence full heckle:
- Individually, the acting was cool, but as a package it was all over the map. Mickey Rourke was in full comic book mode; Bruce Willis played it straight. Brittany Murphy and Nick Stahl seemed to know what kind of movie they were in — I sorta wished it had been the Nick and Brittany show. Mmm. Nick and Brittany.
- Clive Owen was so thuddingly dull I nearly died. Couldn’t they PLEASE have scraped off some of his dialogue and given it to Miho? Did they have to build the whores subplot around the dullest dude in the picture?
- Bruce Willis keeps asking, “How did they find Nancy?” Maybe after seven years of getting a letter a week from the same girl, some red flags went up. Furthermore, I think a stripper dancing in a $3000 cowgirl costume in the same city she was kidnapped in is not exactly keeping it undercover. And how is she supposed to be taking her clothes off between songs? Looks like it took a herd of Edith Heads to sew her into that thing.
Do you feel a draft? I feel a draft. And how am I supposed to get these leather pants off before “Freakaleek”?
- Elijah Wood in his sneaks and spooky glasses was pretty cool. Too bad his end was totally unsatisfying. It says something about this movie that they could have a cannibal eaten alive by his own pet and all I could think about was whether I fed Jake that night. You know you’ve dropped the ball on a story point when Hannibal did it better.
- Since when do prostitutes turn down customers because of their looks? “Gee, Marv, your money’s green, and it’s not a safety issue because of the roaming army of whores in this neighborhood, but you just look too much like Ron Perlman, so, um, no.”
- Remember when Marv’s great redeeming characteristic was that he didn’t hit women, and then he hit a woman? It was L.A. Confidential all over again. L.A. Confidential is also a critical darling despite having the dramatic impact of a green tea enema, so maybe the only thing you need for a Rotten Tomatoes rating over 70% is to have one dude hold another out a window.
A-a-a-and I`m spent.