out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
|*Also starring: ||Sigourney Weaver, Adrien Brody, Bryce Howard, Judy Greer, Michael Pitt, Celia Weston, Liz Stauber, Joanna Reiner, Fran Kranz, Cherry Jones, Brendan Gleeson||
Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4
After his previous big successes (THE SIXTH SENSE, UNBREAKABLE and SIGNS), M.
Night Shyamalan shows in THE VILLAGE that he has clearly lost his touch. Slow,
silly and stupid, this pretentious picture almost matches DOGVILLE in its
ridiculous pomposity. Don't worry about being scared, since the cheesy
monsters appear imported from an old Ed Wood movie. And the movie's big
"twist" is an easily guessed, huge insult to the viewer's intelligence. Only
one small surprise at the end has any payoff, but it is definitely not worth
wasting almost two hours of your time to discover it. You'll probably be just
as bored and disengaged as our packed audience was. You're more likely to hear
groaning and snoring than shrieks of fright while watching this tedious film,
which grinds out its clunky lines with painful slowness.
The story, set in the late 1800s, concerns an isolated village. The villagers
are trapped by "those we don't speak of," who are attracted by "the bad color,"
which is red. Wearing "the safe color," which is sort of a golden orange, the
villagers go about their daily life, trying their best not to worry about the
monsters that live in Covington Woods, which completely surrounds their enclave
of houses. A clear line of demarcation separates the village from the deep
forest all around it. With torches and watch towers, the villagers somehow
manage to keep those unnamed villains away.
Meanwhile back in town, elders share deep thoughts which make little sense but
sound really profound. August Nicholson (Brendan Gleeson), one of the elders,
for example, tells Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix), the bravest lad around, "You
may run from sorrow, but sorrow will find you. It can smell you."
As the movie plods along, you'll be hoping that some really mean monsters will
appear to eat the wimpy ones on the screen and then will go on to devour the
townsfolk as well. But, no such luck. Instead, the movie grinds toward its
obvious conclusion. Good luck on staying awake while sitting through this
THE VILLAGE runs a very long 1:50. It is rated PG-13 for "a scene of violence
and frightening situations" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes
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