Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
|Better than Average
|Thriller, Drama, Romance, Fantasy
|Year of Release:
July 30, 2004
Bryce Dallas Howard … Ivy Walker
Joaquin Phoenix … Lucius Hunt
Adrien Brody … Noah Percy
William Hurt … Edward Walker
Sigourney Weaver … Alice Hunt
Brendan Gleeson … August Nicholson
Cherry Jones … Mrs. Clack
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M. Night Shyamalan
M. Night Shyamalan
|Touchstone Pictures, a division of Walt Disney Studios
“There is no turning back.”
If you are at all familiar with the films of M. Night Shyamalan, you probably know what to expect in his latest film, “The Village”—creepy music, dim lighting, jump scenes—all leading up to the shocking conclusion. It seems that Shyamalan has just one agenda each time out, and that’s to see if he can out scare audiences of his previous films. “The Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable” were, in my opinion, incredibly interesting stories and kept us involved with great acting and genuinely frightening moments. But something seems missing from “The Village.”
The script is pale (weak and flat), the actors (all of whom are very accomplished) seem like cardboard cutouts (bordering on monotonous), and the surprise ending… well, let’s just say it was stunning, but in an almost absurd sort of way. Morally, the film’s content is fairly mild for content for this genre—a couple of jump scenes, a murder, and some blood here and there.
“The Village” tells the story of a small, sheltered community nestled deep in Covington Forrest. The townspeople are simple, lead small lives and go about their daily routines without really questioning their surroundings. Their village is encircled by trees, and no one is allowed outside of the village and in the woods, because those who go out, never return.
The town is headed up by a posse of elders, led by the great actors William Hurt, Brendan Gleeson, and Sigourney Weaver. Their performances in this movie, however, seem to fall far short of their collective capabilities. The story mainly centers around Weaver’s son, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who wants to leave the village to get medicine for future emergencies. Needless to say, the villagers don’t want this to happen and do what they can to stop it. The forces in the woods seem to want to keep him away as well, and leave animals skinned on the front porches as a warning. These and other occurrences lead up to the inevitable shocker finale, which just flat did not work for me.
It’s a big disappoint for some fans of this director. I give “The Village” a C-.