Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Alone in the Dark

(2005) *1/2

And my Uwe Boll film festival (snicker) continues. And thankfully ends. JPX also reviews this below.

I'm not one of those cranks who talks about film like I wish it was still the 70's. I liked Mod Squad, even though it looked like a Gap commercial. Whether or not there should be movies based on video games is a crank's debate; the game industry is so huge it means there's gonna be more. The trick will be to find a fresh way to present ideas that are already once-removed recycled cousins of the movies that inspired them in the first place. I think it can be done. I saw Serenity again last night, and Joss Whedon proves you can find originality in the old familiar places.

Mr. Boll, on the other hand, has such a natural downward inclination in his methods I was passing the time watching Alone in the Dark just trying to remember all the properties being ripped off. Edward Carnby, Christian Slater's character, is himself a cocktail of Indiana Jones, Fox Mulder and the Ghostbusters (just for starters). A movie like this needs some talent to rise above the shadows of its betters, and this flick is talent-free.

And nothing says talent-free like Tara Reid, playing pouty scientist Aline Cedrac*. God is she awful. If there were no such thing as eye-liner that woman would never have had a career. Late in the movie Ona Grauer from House of the Dead shows up as a black-ops trooper, and I wanted her to go konk Tara Reid on the head, put on those stupid glasses and take her place. I don't think anyone would mind.

*Carnby? Cedrac? Who comes up with these names?

The one shining achievement this movie could claim is that it actually manages to get worse at the end. The secret government agency turns out to be frightfully incompetent in battle, Stephen Dorff pulls the expected second banana sacrifice, and then for some reason the city is empty when our hero couple emerge. I say "some reason" because the movie actually gives two conflicting ones. Christian is telling us it's karmic payback for meddling in dark forces, but a text blip says the city's been evacuated (although the since the mission was covert I don't know who told them to). And then, for the final shot, let's do...oh, I don't know, Evil Dead?

Hackery, hackery, hackery.


JPX said...

It's funny, I just watched this 3 weeks ago and I've already forgotten most of it. How does this guy keep getting money???

Summerisle said...

After your scathing reviews I think I'll just leave this one "alone". Get it? (Hint: look at the title of the movie)