Fellow Movie Lovers
Like many of you I have never been a fan of movies depicting massive world wide annihilation; especially the destruction of our United States. The majority of us are particularly sensitive after the catastrophic effects of 9/11. That being noted I did see two films where the universe as we know it has seen the apocalypse or is in the process of experiencing it. The best of the pair is………
This movie is based on Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 Pulitzer winning novel. It is eerily enticing and at the same time disturbingly depressing. We are unaware of the cosmic reason for the death of civilization but know that most who survived have resorted to cannibalism and bestiality to move through each bleak and grueling day. The barren but still smoldering landscape adds unmitigating tension to every waking and sleeping moment.
The movie is brilliantly acted by Viggo Mortensen as a father whose sole mission is to keep his son alive and unharmed. The son played by Kodi Smit-McPhee; so perfect is his characterization of a child whose world has only witnessed starvation and evil, you mourn his never realized innocence.
The essence and the beauty lie in the unwavering bond of dignity, affection, poignancy and love that only increases in strength as they travel the road to the sun. Their devotion is palpable and constantly compelling.
Wonderful cameo roles by Charlize Theron as the wife and mother who lacked the fortitude to thrive is this altered state; Robert Duvall, barely recognizable as one of the “good guys”; and Guy Pearce, the ultimate knight.
This is a dark, rough and brutal film but for those who endure, its message is refined and purified, an unexpected gift.
Some believe that it took less than a week to create the universe. What can one say about a film that cost over 200 million dollars and seemed interminable before the catastrophic conclusion?
Destruction can have its entertaining value: Godzilla vs. Tokyo; King Kong vs. New York; James Bond vs. any and all evil empires! But here all boundaries and continents (except parts of Africa) are erased and the process actually becomes boring; very Warholian, repetition breeds ennui.
This is not a bad film; it is just not a great one. Based on the nonfiction book Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock, it deals with the heating of the earth’s core resulting in crustal displacement…………….hence flooding to rival Noah’s trials. There is even a scene where animal pairings are being hoisted on board major water vehicles!
The actors, in different stages of horror, meet the directorial challenges. Especially the ubiquitous Woody Harrelson (the man never takes a vacation), as a shaman or soothsayer.
John Cusak, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Amanda Peet, escape the ridiculous by feats of physical dexterity and calm under insurmountable pressure. Vintage stars, Danny Glover and George Segal add a touch of class and depth to the film.
But all the actors are secondary to the special effects, at times tedious, but still stunning in their virtuosity.
On the positive side, we have two years to book our ark, and with any luck, use miles for an upgrade.
TWO & ½ STARS!