February 5, 2011
Let’s play a game. I’m going to list some plot points from Dreamcatcher, and you’ll respond with the first word that comes to mind. Ready? Here we go.
- Intergalactic eels that infect a human host and eventually escape through said person’s anus.
- Telepathic extra-terrestrials who crack jokes in a British accent.
- Telepathic humans who use handguns to make phone calls.
These three things (more or less) sum up the massive failure of a novel-turned-movie that Lawrence Kasdan unleashed upon the world in 2003. It’s clunky, awkwardly staged, and as disjointed as some pour soul who’s taken a tumble down Solomon’s staircase.
I’ll try to make this as painless as possible, so here goes my attempt to summarize the “story.” Four friends who saved a mentally challenged peer from ridicule at a young age are granted extrasensory powers. When they’re older, they use these abilities to excel at their professions. Eventually, they realize they’re part of a larger effort to stop the spread of a blood-thirsty alien race who wants nothing more than to unleash it’s malignant slug offspring into the water supply of the City of Boston.
Besides the fact that the movie is anything but scary, it’s got some of the worst acting I’ve seen in quite some time. On top of that, Star Wars style screen-wipes are suddenly thrown into the mix about halfway through. These inadvertently create a much more lighthearted tone than Stephen King (or anyone else involved) could have possibly intended.
Then there’s the decision to focus on a small group of friends for the first third of the film. This actually has some promise, as the audience is primed for an isolated psychological thriller that allows the inner “beasts” of each of these characters to be fully developed (and eventually released).
But that’s not what happens.
Instead, we’re forced to watch various military officials bark orders at one another and spill everything they know about the impending infection. Whatever happened to “show, don’t tell?”
I haven’t even mentioned the hilariously terrible helicopter battle that ensues between Morgan Freeman and Tom Sizemore (and, before that, gelatinous aliens pretending to be good guys), but take my word for it.
This movie sucks.
out of 5
Check out “the phone call“.