The Lambert family returns to dig deeper into their connection to the spirited world. Scares ensue right from the get-go, but are nothing more than an insincere sham to set the tone of a film that has far less substance than its predecessor. The premise, however, is interestingly a mixture of a sequel, a prequel and a parallel (which covers events occurring at the same time as the first film). The film seems to be inadvertently broken into halves, the first of which covers Byrne's character and the second covering Wilson's, creating an overall incoherent horror movie. It actually gets pretty interesting during the second half, but when the first half is so dull, it's a lot to expect your audience to be so gracious and maintain an open-mind the entire film. There also seems to be an effort to make this installment "the happier one of the series", and the ham-handed attempt to make as much use of the reprising characters as possible is one of the saddest things a sequel has seen since OCEAN'S THIRTEEN. Hopefully nobody will be reminded of this movie if someone ever decides to adapt HOUSE OF LEAVES to the screen.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
After deeply religious father Jackman's daughter goes missing with a neighbor girl, he targets prime suspect Dano while detective Gyllenhaal pursues other leads. The film doesn't necessarily succeed at being epic, but it is terrifically well-paced for clocking-in at over a two-and-a-half hour runtime—director Villeneuve does an excellent job using fade-outs to skip passed the obvious melodrama. The story involves emotions and chills from all aspects of an unthinkable crime, including: the family members of the abducted children, the investigators and even those close to the suspect. Unfortunately, the movie is dragged by too many obvious detective blunders by Gyllenhaal's characters: 1) Whaaa? I can't discreetly park my car in the middle of the road in broad daylight? 2) Whaaa? I'm going to have all family members take a polygraph, but not consider looking into the fact that one of the fathers owns an abandoned building the girls may be at? 3) Whaaa? When I finally find out one of the fathers owns an abandoned building and I establish my new suspicions of him, I SHOULD call a search team? 4) Whaaa? I've been seeing a lot of mazes ever since I started investigating these girls' disappearances. There IS a connection?
Another unfortunate downfall is the annoying and awkward light adjustments between interior and exterior scenes.
The moral of a film should either raise questions, or provide answers or some sort of hope. This film just kind of confuses, as it doesn't really grasp hold of how suspects are sometimes guilty until proved innocent or how there are some ridiculous limitations the law has at preventing and/or solving crimes. Either: A) make a statement, or B) give the audience something to reflect on. This film seems to do neither.
It would be nice to go into a crime-thriller with an open-mind and NOT have to suspend as much disbelief. But all-in-all, not a complete waste of a film.