Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Messengers (2007)

Okay, see if you can keep up with this. After introducing themselves to the world at large with the John-Woo-thieving Bangkok Dangerous, the Pang brothers (Danny and Oxide) hit pay dirt with their film The Eye, a well-constructed but generally uninspired amalgam of Ringu and Blink. Despite its mediocrity, The Eye arrived at precisely the right time to ride the crest of the J-horror boom. This gave the Pangs a bit of a reputation, enough to attract the attention of American eyes. Sam Raimi, being a pair of influential American eyes and a big horror cheerleader besides, imported the Pangs so that they could direct The Messengers, yet another Anglicized rendition of all the expected J-horror tropes familiarized by films like Ringu, Ju-On and... The Eye. I guess that the logic went that hiring individuals who are in part responsible for the calcification of the genre, with its blue ghosts and creepy dead kids, will somehow make the screenplay's wan compendium of cliches feel more authentic. This flawed logic is how we got The Ring Two, and The Messengers is even worse than that, maybe because the Pangs have always been second-hand hacks feeding off the ideas and successes of others. To steal a phrase from Edward Norton, this film is a copy of a copy of a copy. The only entertainment comes from Dylan McDermott and generally has nothing to do with either the ghosts or the cheap familial drama (i.e. his goofball pun about "the Farmer Sutra"); everything else is desperation time. Can someone please get Kristen Stewart her Buffalo '66 already?

Grade: D+


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home