THE HAPPENING (15)
D: M. Night Shyamalan
Fox Searchlight/UTV (Barry Mendel, Sam Mercer & M. Night Shyamalan)
W: M. Night Shyamalan
DP: Tak Fujimoto
Ed: Conrad Buff
Mus: James Newton Howard
Mark Wahlberg (Elliot Moore), Zooey Deschanel (Alma Moore), John Leguizamo (Julian), Ashlyn Sanchez (Jess), Betty Buckley (Mrs. Jones)
Following a spectacular debut with The Sixth Sense (qv), M. Night Shyamalan's directorial & writing career has been on a downward spiral ever since, making him the butt of many Hollywood jokes. With The Happening, he doesn't seem likely to buck that trend either.
Credit has to go to the editors of the publicity trailer, who made the film look quite intriguing when it is anything but. In a nutshell, trees are angry with the human race and begin to release a toxin which provokes people to commit suicide in a variety of ways. Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel & a girl who doesn't talk are just three from a group of the survivors who avert disaster by outrunning the wind. Seriously, I wish that plot device was made up, but it's true. There's even a scene which shows a close up of Mark Wahlberg's face as he's having, what can only be described as, an 'excruciating think'.
A ridiculous concept to a movie with preposterous dialogue, pathetic direction and truly abysmal performances.
Shyamalan may think he's made an ecological masterpiece but he'd be the only one, and truly deserves all the harsh criticism he and this travesty receive.