Rubado column: I have had enough of M. Night Shyamalan
The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.
I don't think there's a more undeserving person who gets so much praise in Hollywood than M. Night Shyamalan.
I was all set to review the Fear Street movies that dropped on Netflix recently. It's a three-part movie series, and I've heard they are a ton of fun. I didn't have time to watch three movies in two days, so I ducked out of the office a little early yesterday to go to the theater.
My options were "Snake Eyes" and "Old." I figured "Snake Eyes," the GI: Joe Origins film, was going to be the standard action movie. I plan on reviewing the new James Bond film when it comes out, along with a couple more action films.
"Old" was my other option. I knew it wouldn't be good, but it failed to meet my disgustingly low expectations. M. Night Shyamalan's newest film is about a family that takes a getaway vacation. When they're escorted to a private beach with three other families, they realize they can no longer leave. On top of that, every half-hour, their bodies age one year older.
It's a fairly interesting concept, but please don't waste your money on this movie. I can't figure out what's worse: the acting or the script. I have seen worse movies in the theater that haven't made me want to walk out as "Old" did. That's because of Shyamalan.
Shyamalan is revered as one of the top filmmakers in Hollywood for reasons I don't understand. He made "Sixth Sense," which is a classic. He also created "Split" and "Signs." I know why people love those movies, but they're not my cup of tea.
Shyamalan's niche is creating a big twist ending that the audience is never supposed to see coming. He succeeds in that sense because his endings are typically really stupid, which makes them hard to predict. Outside of the top movies in his filmography, it's one of the worst catalogs for any filmmaker.
"The Happening" is one of the worst films I've seen in my entire life. It's so bad I don't care about spoiling the movie. It's about plants that kill humans by poisoning the air because the world is overpopulated. He also made "The Last Airbender," the live-action Avatar movie, which is hot garbage. "After Earth," "Lady in the Water" and "Glass" all stink.
What makes Shyamalan even more pretentious is that he gives himself a cameo in his movies. They're his films, so he can do whatever he wants. But it's an unwritten rule in Hollywood that you have to reach a certain level of success before you give yourself that right.
One day after seeing "Old," I find myself extremely creeped out by some of the plot points. The dialogue was horrific, and it felt like a college film student wrote it. This is a common trend in Shyamalan's latest movies.
Shyamalan is a walking example of what one good movie can do for a filmmaker's career. "Sixth Sense" is a classic. But he's been riding that wave for nearly 30 years. At what point will studios stop giving him chances to recreate that magic? Probably when we stop giving him money.
There are so many underappreciated filmmakers that deserve the shine Shyamalan gets, and it's frustrating to see studios give this guy countless opportunities. Please don't see this movie. I can promise you "Snake Eyes" will be better even before I've seen it.
I gave "Old" a 26/100, which is in the bottom 15% of movies I've rated.