Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Disappointing films

Warning: spoilers below

Last week I watched two films: The Illusionist and Kick-Ass.  Both were disappointingly...well, disappointing.

The Illusionist looked good - a bit like The Prestige, but with Edward Norton and Jessica Biel.  It started well and kept me interested.  The problem was that it  just didn't work.
Basic plot: Magician (Norton) and princess (Biel) fall in love, but she is betrothed to the prince.  They fake her murder (by the prince), then the magician puts on lots of shows before running away with the princess.
This doesn't work for three reasons:

  1. After faking the murder, the magician hangs around for literally years, for no reason other than to put on shows that involve seemingly conjuring dead spirits.  Why didn't he just run off with her straight away?  No explanation given.
  2. Some of the magician's tricks are explained.  Fair play.  But the conjuring spirits thing, which is the main trick in the film, is not explained at all.  Frustrating.
  3. Throughout the film we are lead to believe that the princess is dead.  The fact that she isn't is revealed in the final scene as the chief of police pieces together the evidence.  However, he didn't actually discover any of this evidence himself, it just 'appears' in his mind in the last scene.  Completely unconvincing.
Kick-ass was a film I wasn't sure about but I was told it was very entertaining.  Basic plot: teenager decides to try to become a superhero, discovers other people are doing a similar thing, and gets mixed up in battling a gang.
The main problem I had with kick-ass is that it didn't seem to know what genre it was trying to be.  There were elements of superhero, epic action a la Matrix, comedy, romance, spoof, high-school movie.  But none of these held any water because there were so many other things going on.  The only styles that could have really worked were comedy and spoof.  The problem is, it just wasn't that funny.

The frustrating thing about all this is that both films had potential to be decent films.  Both failed to fulfil.  Disappointing.  Does anyone agree with me about these two films?  Or did anyone come to a different conclusion about them?

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