(working title: BORING: THE MOVIE)
All right, you computer nerds have fucking done it. You’ve spent millions of dollars and years of research and god knows how many man hours of animation, and you’ve created the closest thing yet to photorealistic, computer generated, human-type individuals. And then you’ve put them in the most boring sci-fi movie since the extended director’s cut of Wing Commander.
And both of these are based on fucking video games, come to think of it. I’m starting to notice a pattern here.
What this is about is a bunch of people, who are trying to find eight “spirits”. This will save the world from something, I believe. When it ended, I wasn’t sure if they had done it or not. I may have missed whatever happened because I was so busy praying. Please oh lord, I know I haven’t been the most moral person ever, but I swear I will straighten up if you just give me this one break, and let this action part here be the climax so this god damn movie will end and we can all go home. If there is one more part where they talk about spirits or have that same boring dream about aliens or if there is another spirit they have to find inside a bird or a tree or something I’m gonna turn my red vines into an improvised noose.
It’s not like it’s really that dumb. There’s not too much bad comic relief or moronic plot twists. Well, there is this whole thing about the “phantoms.” These are these ghostly, transparent alien bug things that inhabit the cities. They look like ghosts and the people call them “phantoms” and the movie is called “The Spirits Within”, so I figured they were ghosts, right? But then the characters also refer to them as alien invaders, so I started thinking that they were actually aliens, but since they looked like ghosts the humans had nicknamed them “phantoms” and “spirits.”
But then there is a big turning point in the movie where they say wait a minute, what if these aren’t aliens? What if, in fact, THEY’RE GHOSTS?
Other than that the plot isn’t all that dumb, it’s just dull. There is no reason why anyone in their right mind would choose THIS story to use realistic computer animation for. Video games are a bad influence. I doubt they really make people shoot up schools. But they DO make people make movies like this. And then people end up having to sit through them. Innocent people like me, who don’t know pac-man from donkey man.
The people in this movie don’t do anything to take advantage of not being real. They don’t morph or flip or even run fast. They try to look just like real people, and just stand around and talk about boring stuff for loooooong stretches of time. And you can’t help but thinking, these aren’t real people. Real people don’t walk like that. What the fuck is wrong with these people? They can’t even move right. What a bunch of weirdos.
The most distracting thing about this movie, the one thing that almost makes it worth watching, just as a curiosity, is the voice casting. All of the main characters have celebrity voices, but then their bodies are based on different celebrities. So Alec Baldwin’s voice is coming out of Ben Affleck. James Woods comes out of Casper Van Dien. Steve Buscemi’s comes out of Jason Priestley. And with his character there is this gimmick where whenever he says something, his face has an expression that does not match whatever it is that he says.
The most weirdly appropriate is Donald Sutherland’s voice coming out of Donald Pleasance’s mouth. At least they’re both named Donald, so it wasn’t as distracting. And Donald Pleasance died when he found out he was in Halloween part 6, so it’s not like they could’ve got him to do the voice if they wanted it to match.
If you ever think about watching Final Fantasy, I pity you. Please people, learn from my mistake. It’s not worth it. Don’t be a hero. Just get the fuck out of there.
You nerds thought you could get away with it, didn’t you? Well let me tell you something. Nothing can replace the human soul. And more than that nothing can replace the human walk.
You can try and you can try, but you will never be able to make a non-human that can walk better than a real human. It will always look all slow motion and weird.
That’s what you’d like, isn’t it? To replace real, walking actors, with animated fake people, who don’t do anything except walk exactly like a real human actor, thus making them obsolete.
Well you can forget it. This is what you get when you try to play god. You get abominations and what not.
Stop it, guys. Just stop it.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.