Friday, May 11, 2007


Warning! This blog post reveals the endings or "surprise" twists in several films, so stop reading now if you do not want to know the endings to "Georgia Rule," "23," "Perfect Stranger," "Gothika," or "The Ex."

It seems to me that there have been an awful lot of dumb fake-outs in movies lately. This week's "Georgia Rule" has at least four different zig-zags on the allegations of sexual abuse made by Lindsay Lohan's character. She says he did it. She says she lied. She says he did it. She says she lied. Then she says he did it. In "Next," the whole damn movie turns out to be a big fake-out, almost like Bobby Ewing's return in "Dallas," or the last episode of "St. Elsewhere." And what is the deal about having the main character spend the whole movie trying to solve a murder only to reveal that the perp is none other than that same character? That's Jim Carrey in "23" and Halle Berry in "Perfect Stranger." She already pulled that once in "Gothika." In "The Ex," the whole premise of the movie is the inability of Tom (Zach Braff) to fight man-to-man with Chip (Jason Bateman), the guy who is after his wife, because he's in a wheelchair. Big fake-out number one when our hero discovers a photo of the guy proving that he can walk, only to learn -- after an intended-to-be hilarious scene where he throws Chip down the stairs -- that it is a picture of Chip's identical twin brother. Followed shortly by another intended-to-be-hilarious scene where it turns out that Chip has indeed been faking for more than a decade and is not paralyzed at all. At which point he gets into an accident and breaks both legs, landing him, yes, in a wheelchair.

There's a difference between a cheesy fake-out and a story. Even the audience for a silly comedy or a cheesy thriller is entitled to have it make sense at some level.

No comments: