Last February, I took a look at some of the many Shyamalan films that I missed along the way. This year, I decided to do more of the same, because let's face it, M. Night Shyamalan is, if nothing else, fascinating in the way he chooses to film things. He has some great titles under his belt ('The Sixth Sense', 'Unbreakable', 'The Visit'), but he's also got those titles that make you wonder what in the hell you just watched ('Signs', 'Devil', 'The Happening'). This title most definitely falls under the latter.
Here, an apartment complex superintendent named Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) discovers a "Narf" (yeah, that word Pinky was saying about 13 years prior) named Story (again, yeah) in the complex's swimming pool. She ends up rescuing him from drowning, and the two establish an understanding of what she is - a sea nymph who has come to help mankind. Narfs like her are assigned to one particular human to tell him or her that they're meant to do great things or something, and they have to meet so that an eagle can come and take the Narf back home.
Meanwhile, there are creatures called "Scrunts" that are out and about to stop hr from succeeding or something, and there are also monkey-like creatures called "Tartutic" that are peacekeepers of Story's world, and yeah, it's just about as messy as it sounds. There's more too. Like, after Story succeeds in her mission, she can't go home because there's a whole bunch of other people she needs to find in order to do so because she unknowingly is destined for great things... man, I know how much sense this sounds like it's making, and trust me, the movie holds just about as much water (pun absolutely intended)
This, at least speaking for myself, was among the hardest Shyamalan films to get through without facepalming a bunch of times. 'The Happening' is pretty brutal, but this almost falls under the category of "So Bad It's Good". Some of the decisions made simply draw things out unnecessarily, or shine a spotlight Shyamalan's ego. I mean, spoiler alert, but he's the guy (playing a guy named Vick Ran) Story has to find. He's an author who discovers that his writing will one day inspire the American President to change the world for the better.
And then there's the weird shit that I haven't even gotten to yet, like a kid being able to decipher some kind of hidden message by looking at cereal boxes. Or the fact that no one ever questions why Cleveland has a naked, cut up, young lady in his shower. Oh yeah, people find out about her like she's no big deal and just kinda go with things here. It's kinda brutal. Imagine if Elliot's Mom found him tossing a ball back and forth with E.T. and just smiled, nodded and said "You too have fun, now."
So, it's really just my opinion, but I have to say that I put this one even lower than 'The Happening' on my list of Shyamalan films. Indeed, I'd claim this one to be pretty much rock bottom for the guy. At the very least, 'The Happening' wasn't a giant stroke of his ego. Still though, the pair would go pretty well together if you wanna do a night of good-bad movie watching.