09 July 2010


I was betrayed by the Washington Post with this one. Their review said the movie was a rollicking good time, light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek action. Which is the kind of thing I love. And while the movie's outright absurdity and bizarro plot does make it occasionally entertaining, it's ultimately just too stupid to merit the time - especially the last half hour.

The opening is vaguely interesting, and at first, it's kind of like action on Lost island - all kinds of weird shit is going on, and the characters are vaguely mysterious. They are also ridiculous cliches, but that's sort of fun. There are some genuinely creepy moments, and some quite amusing ones as well, when the film just turns to deadpan outright ridiculousness ("It's 5:00. Time to go rape some fine-ass bitches."). But then it attempts to get somewhat philosophical (moral quandary! Save yourself or work with others!) and then it realizes that it can't figure out how to solve the dilemma its set for itself and ends, clearly threatening a continuation.

One vaguely interesting aspect is the gender dynamic and the way it works against the power dynamic. Adrien Brody (who will hopefully be getting a large paycheck out of this one, because that's gotta be the reason he did it) sets himself up as alpha male pretty much immediately. The only potential challenge to this is the token female, who is thankfully pretty badass and quite attractive. She also, of course, is a team player, but this gets justified throughout the course of the film, and we're also shown that when it comes down to it, she does put survival first. So she's kind of the second-in-command, and what's intriguing to me about that is that I think her gender is crucial to that fact. I mean, it helps that she IS badass, and that the other characters might be but that's irrelevant because their real purpose is to be expendable and/or create suspense, but nonetheless - I really do think being female allows her to sort of sidestep the power struggle and be second top dog, so long as she's under the alpha male.

But yeah. While it's fleetingly entertaining and occasionally creepy, and the plot is wacko and the mystery guest star appearance is indeed amazing, there's ultimately not enough bad-assness or, well, quality, to make it worthwhile to spend the money on seeing this one instead of renting the original.

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