R.P. McMurphy Reviews: 'The Happening', wasn't!

by Billy Fisher

Here we go again with another round from M. Night Shyamalan.  We all have our thoughts about his movies.  You either love them or hate them.  The same goes with this one.  I am not on the loving side this time.  Usually I am the one defending him, but this time I just can't.  Trust me I know that there are going to be some of you that think that I am full of it, or that I am being too harsh.  I might be, but I was expecting so much more.  He had great actors to work with and the story was semi-decent.  Somehow he failed to bring it all together. 

This man has one of the greatest eyes for talent and for scenes, and his writing hits the mark.  Filming-wise this movie was stunning.  Colors were great, the backgrounds were perfect.  He just couldn't get actors to connect with one another, and that is purely the directors fault.  Most of the time you can tell if it is the actors not delivering it well.  This time, however, you couldn't help but notice that everyone was delivering the lines poorly.  That to me means the director was either too involved or not involved enough.  The acting seemed to be second rate, I felt like I was watching a high school play.

I think that is what hurt me the most.  The subject matter is something that I have thought would be an excellent plot for a movie.  I feel that if you were to mute the sound on this film it would be one of my favorite movies.  It just felt like everyone in the movie was acting like they knew they were in a movie.  The danger never felt real.  In fact to prove this point, there was one scene where it seemed like there is a life or death situation going on and there are two girls in the back laughing.  I couldn't believe it, you would think that someone would have caught that.  It wasn't even an important shot.  I know that that was purely the editors mistake, but it was a mistake that drew me out of the film.

I love seeing Mark Wahlberg, John Leguizamo, and Zooey Deschanel on the big screen.  All three of them are a big draw for me.  They just weren't directed well.  I do have to say that the little girl (Ashlyn Sanchez) in this film constantly drew me out of this film.  I know that it is hard to find a great child actor, but this role required too much, and she just didn't have it.  The only time that I felt anything for her character was a scene with her and Mark Wahlberg in the resturant.  Other then that she never fully commited to an emotion.

I know a lot of you are going to go see this film for yourselves, and it is almost guaranteed someone will think that I am wrong.  If you do feel differently, let me know what you thought.  I love getting new perspectives on films.  But please understand that I am not saying these people are bad actors.  I just feel like Mr. Shyamalan missed the mark with what he was trying to portray.

Let me know what you think.  McMurphy Out! 

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