A lot of my friends have been to see this movie, and the reports have been positive, except for _poe_ who made possibly the single most insightful comment about the movie that I’ve read. It’s a children’s movie. Full stop, end of story.
As a children’s movie, I think it accomplishes most of its objectives. It is big, loud, shiny and delivers a tale about a kid (albeit, an older kid) taking on the world and winning (in essence.) It doesn’t shy away from any kind of gross plot manipulation to keep things moving and deliver “good” outcomes, and it never tries to play a scene for more than a cheap laugh or gaudy effect. So, if you have a 10-14 year old kid that needs entertainment take it along to this movie. Or, indeed, as I do, several friends in their late 20s who seemlessly retrograde into 14 year old boys.
My only main complaint about it in this light is that it’s a bit long. There is a reasonably decent chunk of material that could be, I think, safely jettisoned. Basically I’m thinking of the whole Maddie Madsen storyline. It wasn’t offensive or stupid… it was merely superfluous.
As a movie for adults, I think this was a more-or-less complete write-off. It never tried to build suspense, or tension. It went for the cheap and easy laugh every possible opportunity. It scrupulously avoided dealing with any consequences of the problems it raised. It’s plot was ludicrously convoluted and improbable. The dialogue was shit for 90% of the movie. The morality and worldviews it represents are tired, cliched, unrealistic and jingoistic. And I think it lacked that handy dose of self-referential fun which made similar movies like Independence Day and Men In Black watchable, if not cinematic masterpieces.
And obviously, in either mode of viewing there are some serious and legitimate complaints to be made about the camera work. Shaky cam is all well and good if you’re an amateur lost in the woods, but for something that’s supposed to be a showpiece of CGI and just generally a visual extravaganza, it was difficult to watch.
So, are we still doing ratings? I’m apt to agree with Nick C’s 6/10.