Hot damned, was I looking forward to seeing this movie. When I first saw the announcement, the book cover alone got me all riled up.
And then the teasers came out?
Man, I was pumped. Deep down inside I knew it would probably be dumb, but I also wanted to just embrace the bad for the sake of having fun.
What kills me is not that this movie sucked (as if you hadn’t guessed my opinion by now). What really sucks about it is the fact that it could have so easily been good.
It’s supposed to be a good book, so I guess it’s only natural that the movie would suck. But still, it would have been so simple not to fuck this one up.
But they did it.
A little more than half way through the movie, you will completely cease to care what happens, impatiently waiting for the end of the film, which can’t come too soon.
It’s like they borrowed a page from Danny Boyle’s “Sunshine”: they establish a super interesting world, give you compelling, complex characters with rich histories, the story is on track to be great just the way everything is set up, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, and completely unnecessarily, something completely unexpected comes in, confusing everything and fucking it all up.
HEY, HOLLYWOOD. HERE’S A FUCKING HINT: IF YOU DON’T NEED THE RANDOM AND HARD-TO-EXPLAIN PLOT TWIST, DON’T FUCKING PUT IT IN THE MOVIE.
Aside from curve ball plot-twists, the film repeatedly resorts to cheap emotional manipulation to pull you in, another thing that was completely unnecessary. The term ham-fisted comes to mind. As subtle as a fucking baseball bat to the skull.
And if you’re not offended yet, the overt religiosity at the end just compounds the whole thing.
And the Bob Marley thing? Bob Marley wanted to inject love and music into people’s lives, like serum in a test subject? Did he really make that analogy? Ass.
After much debate over dinner, it was decided that the film was actually the sum of three different versions of the story that the screenwriter had pitched to the studios, the worthwhile parts no doubt rapidly vetoed by committee, the shittier ones forcefully appended.
If, for whatever reason, you find yourself unable to avoid going to see this, leave half way through. Feign illness if you must. You’ll be leaving with a fond memory of the film, and none of the impending disgust and disappointment.