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the happening
Click for full sized poster

The Happening

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo, Spencer Breslin, Ashlyn Sanchez; Betty Buckley,
Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

IN SHORT: No, nothing really happens. [Rated R for violent and disturbing images. 91 minutes]

Eliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) is a science teacher in New York City. He's got a flaky wife, Alma (Zooey Deschanel), and he thinks life is good.n Alma doesn't think so but that's saying too much.

One day, random strangers in the Big Apple start jumping off roofs. That's the most plebian of the suicide methods in M. Night Shyamalan's new work. We'll leave all the others alone since they comprise the only visually interesting aspect of his film, which is otherwise a standard get-out-of-town-because-something- unknown-is-making-people-suicide thing.

Everyone climbs on a train to make a fast exit. Here the Moores meet  up with Eliot's  co-worker, a math teacher named Julian (John Leguizamo) and  his daughter Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez). Julian's wife is out of town, headed for Princeton New Jersey.

Great. New York has gone nuts. Everyone important to this story caught the first train out. That would be the end of things so, for reasons unknown to both the characters and this viewer, the train stops in a nowhere town in Pennsylvania and dumps its load. Julian finds one seat in a car headed for Pinceton and leaves Jess with the Moores and . . .

. . . darn it we're giving away too much. Sorry folks, there is virtually nothing in Night's film of any depth. There is a wonderful excelsior explanation of what is going on (Eliot is a science teacher, after all) but other than that, there is absolutely nothing here. Zero. zip. Wahlberg shows no emotion. Deschanel's character is so short of flake that, well, love works in mysterious ways.

There's nothing more to write because there's absolutely nothing here to write about

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Happening, he would have paid . . .


Well, there is one suicide which is visually worthy of the buck.

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