I used to really love Shyamalan's movies.
I mean, The Sixth Sense is a brilliant thriller, and easily one of my favorite ghost movies ever, Unbreakable was a fresh take on the superhero genre, and I even like Signs a whole lot, since it was a new twist on an invasion, paranoia, and fear story, scaring you without ever showing too much. When we got to The Village, it started going downhill for me. I didn't enjoy it, and felt extremely disappointed, especially since I liked his previous works. As for Lady in the Water, I never saw it - but if what I hear is of any value, the movie is a piece of crap anyway.
Since it seemed like ol' Manny Shyamalan was "nuking the fridge" a bit, I wasn't sure how to feel about his newest movie, The Happening. The first teasers made me curious, but the trailers failed to carry on that interest. When the first reviews started rolling, most of them had nothing good to say. But, having to choose between this and the epilepsy-inducing Speed Racer for a night in the movies, it was an easy pick.
Now I can say that probably Speed Racer would have been a better pick. The Happening started interestingly enough - with various shots - very well done, by the way - of people suddendly stopping in time and, then, taking their own lives in shocking and various ways. But since it starts taking focus on the main characters, it just becomes bland and whiney - like them.
Mark Wahlberg, I swear, can he furrow his brow anymore? He has the same expression during the whole movie. And he speaks in a whiny voice that I could hardly stand anymore, by the end of the movie. He does a really bad job here, almost comical at times. Zooey Deschanel doesn't show a wide array of expressions either, sometimes she just looks like there's something not quite right with her mind. It's not easy to empathise with the characters, which makes it difficult to root for them.
The dialogues are all fairly poor, and it seems like most characters just repeat themselves, and the others, over and over. "There's something happening!", "There's an event going on", "It's happening", etc.
Also, the plot - I mean, the REASON why the happening is... well, happening - is farfetched, to say the least. And it's given away right in the beginning of the action. There's no real twist, if anyone's expecting that. Ok, the movie has a good message, which is: we should take care of the planet, because we've fucked it up enough, and soon it'll start fucking us up back; but it's too obvious, it lacks subtlety, and it makes it almost patronizing and annoying.
For redeeming points... Well, I liked some of the shots Shyamalan pulled off. He's still a talented director, but maybe he should pass on his writing duties to someone else. But that was mostly it.
All in all, I'd give it 2 out of 5 stars.
I found an interesting review here, that draws parallels between this movie's script and some Intelligent Design stuff. Go have a read!
I still did a stupid little drawing just for the sake of it. I do realize it looks nothing like Mark Whalberg :D