Sunday, July 02, 2006

Movies: The Village

I have avoided reviewing movies here because a good movie review is less about the movie and more about the issues related to the movie. Roger Ebert's reviews in the Chicago Sun-Times are wonderful examples of the genre.

And, as the title suggests, I am about to write about the M. Night Shyamalan film The Village (2004). I hadn't see the film until yesterday and had assumed it would suck. I remember the critics didn't much care for it -- at least compared to The Sixth Sense (1999) and Unbreakable (2000).

The missus has vetoed the movie for the last year. But we have run out of movies to watch and it was either The Village, Karate Kid Part 2 or Die Hard (a movie I never tire of watching). She vetoed the others too, so I loaded the DVD and didn't expect very much.

As the credits rolled, I was surprised to learn that William Hurt was in it. And Sigourney Weaver. Adrien Brody is in it too? Holy cow. Well, if this is going to suck, at least there's going to be good acting.

As it started, I was intringued by the story. Folks living in a small Pennsylvania village circa 1890 living in fear of creatures in the forest at the edge of their village. We learn about "Those who we do not speak of" in bits and parts. Are they monsters? Animals? We are also teased by "the towns" that are on the other side of the forrest.

All the while, my brain was racing trying to figure out what was really going on and trying to anticipate the surprise ending that is in all Shyamalan's movies. About half-way through the movies, I decided that I was enjoying it, regardless of whether the mystery revealed at the end was any good.

And what an interesting ending it was. I won't spoil it for you. But I thought the ending was as good an Unbreakable and almost as good as The Sixth Sense. I'm not sure why critics hated this movie. I quite liked it.

So there. An interesting movie to watch with a good Shyamalan ending.

New Quebec rating: 3.5 / 5

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