A Film Review

I review the latest M Night Shyamalan. Old 2021 - Universal Pictures.



7/24/2021 1 min read

When I first saw the trailer, I was immediately interested in this movie. The concept is original and the potential for something new and exciting had me hooked. Naturally I went to see this movie on opening night. My wife and I are movie junkies so, after getting vaccinated, we returned to the movies as soon as our local theater opened back up. This was the biggest and most engaged crowd we’ve experienced since the world caught on fire. By the end credits, you could feel the resignation in the room. The disappointment was palpable.

The movie is engaging. I never felt bored and was interested in where the narrative was heading. I never felt attached to any of the characters. The actors were good and committed but no one had depth. The attractive blonde gold digger was, naturally, shallow, and superficial. Her rich doctor husband was racist and insecure. The young black male character was a rapper who may have also murdered a nameless naked white girl.

Any attempt at giving the characters depth failed and were legitimately and unintentional hilarious. They leaned on tired tropes that would have worked if they were going for satire. However, they weren’t, and our audience laughed out loud. The gold digger admits she was in love with a man before but because he was “unattractive” and “unsuccessful” she dumped him and has never found love again. This attempt at making her sympathetic and show growth achieved neither and my disconnect from the characters persisted.

The cinematography is tremendous. There are scenes I’m still replaying in head because they were perfect and effective. If I were teaching a course on filmography, I would pull these clips. There’s no dialogue but multiple messages are conveyed. The island is beautiful as well. After a year of lockdown, this movie made me long for the beach. Something I do not typically enjoy.

Ultimately the movie is a disappointment. It’s shallow attempt to make us care about the characters fails. The message it tries to send (which for spoiler reasons, I will not disclose) is too on the nose. You will be left with “yeah, we all agree with that” rather than an “Oh damn” moment.

If you’re interested in becoming a director or cinematographer, this may be worth watching. If you’re a film junkie looking for something new, this is skippable.

Old - 2021

Grade: C+