Spectacularly over-rated director M. Knight Shyamalan gives us his vanity piece in the vein of Neil Breen and Tommy Wiseau and not only shows us he stinks at film as badly as they do, but that he's a giant, narcissistic, arrogant, terrible person. Good job!
So it's a fairy tale that involves water people called Narfs, who want to help mankind solve their problems. Standing in the way is their lack of sense of meeting people and a solo grass dog, but also the rules of being eaten by one of Gandalf's eagles. Ok... Now we know that if you look too deeply into most fairy tales, you'll find plenty of problems within the logic and that's fine. However, that is not what this jackass is trying to get us to not do. He tries to put forward some moral about man's desire to destroy itself without some sort of altruistic outside influence as a vehicle to change. What he succeeds in, is to say that he is the greatest story-teller ever to live and if you feel differently you should be eaten by a monster green monster.
Then there's his martyrdom. He plays a character in the film who is the object of the Narf's musing. This person will change the world via his book. It will be read by the future leader of the world, thus inspiring him to make mankind peaceful and prosperous. Yet at no point does he make an attempt to declare what is contained within his "The Cookbook". His only reference to its content is "Its got things about leaders and governments and society and stuff". THIS is the words of the greatest storyteller according to himself. What an asshole.
Aside from his giant ego and his complete hatred for anyone that critiques his work and doesn't worship it, this movie is crap. It's shot poorly, breaks its own rules constantly, has a terrible performance by Paul Giamatti, and conflicting character motivations. It also has a mermaid who has no pants, Ariel's treasure cave, gorilla/ent hybrids, and an apartment complex that was built next to Sherwood without a parking lot. Despite all that lunacy it's terribly boring, hugely unfunny and well worth avoiding.
Over the top action:
Good Movie Quality:
Bad Movie Quality:
M. Night Shyamalan is fairly sure that he is the next Ayn Rand, or, at least he was in 2006, the world may have knocked him down a few pegs since. His first film, Praying with Anger made noise in the independent circuit. It was a darling at the time, especially as it concerned the rather en vogue topics of identity and bicultural dynamics.
His next 5 films would together gross over $1.8 billion worldwide. That success would put anyone on a high horse. Shyamalan would now realize this was the time to cast himself in a major role, not the lead as in Praying with Anger but as an important side character. This time he would play himself, a visionary on a mission to save the world. He would background himself doing this against a fairy getting stuck in a pool. I don’t know if M. Night saves the world, he may, however, land himself in a conversation with Neil Breen, Tommy Wiseau and Joseph James. This is most likely a vanity piece gone awry. Shyamalan would pull down the Razzies for Worst Director and Worst Supporting actor. The film would go on to gross only $18 million domestically against a $70 million budget. It was Shyamalan’s first picture after splitting from Disney, he would later cite the lack of Disney marketing as the cause for the film’s financial failures.
A fairy? Yes and no. This is a fairy tale, one made up completely by Shyamalan, but the fairy is actually a narf. The evil chia pet that chases said narf, is really called a scrunt, and really should be called something else as it is two letters away from being the second most avoided word in American English. If it sounds like the story is about to be nonsense, you may also wonder why the budget was $70 million. Though there is only one location, a rather unassuming apartment complex, it was not found among the sum 75 thousand lookalikes that exist in suburban America. The complex and the adjacent neighborhood were constructed entirely for the film. Though one could argue the specifics of cinematography dictated this decision, it is seemingly that Shyamalan did this to lessen his commute. This subdivision was built in a very reasonable proximity to M. Nights house, far too reasonable to be a reasonable filmmaking decision. So eat shit Breen, Wiseau and James, when this guy makes a “look at me” picture, he spends $70 million making it look like it cost $5.