Thursday, February 18, 2010

'Shutter Island' - Movie Review

I have this problem when I go see movies that have really great plots and leave you guessing the whole time. My problem is actually a bad habit where I predict the end of the movie to myself. Usually I watch thankfully as the movie plays out differently than I expected, but then at the last minute finishes with my predicted ending…hence killing any suspense or payoff for me since I already imagined it in my head. This happened to me with movies like Fight Club and The Sixth Sense, and unfortunately came back and did the same thing to me while watching Shutter Island.

I wasn’t planning on seeing this movie anyway, but thought it couldn’t be too bad if Martin Scorsese is directing it and Leo DiCaprio’s in it. Unfortunately, this is no Goodfellas or Raging Bull, and it doesn’t even match Aviator’s entertainment, so what I was hoping for was that somehow the story would take me for a ride that would make up for all its shortcomings and I ruin the ending for myself. Shutter Island is about Federal Marshall Teddy (Leo) and his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo…who knew) investigating a disappearance at a hospital for the criminally insane. A hurricane forces the Marshals to stay on the island where they end up trying to figure out if the whole thing was an elaborate setup by the Islands head doctor (Ben Kingsley)

Scorsese knows how to do psychological. He is a master when it comes to brutality and the human condition so I can see why this story attracted him. It explores the cause of human violence and the minds ability to succumb/overcome that instinct. What bothered me about the story is that it used the Holocaust and murdered children to elicit the dread we are supposed to be sickened by. I think its personally tasteless and a cop-out. They were giving out free books to the people in my screening if we could name the author of the book, which I couldn’t. The girl next to me not only knew the author was Dennis Lehane, but told me it was the same guy that wrote Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone. Dude has serious issues murdering children. Just sayin’

I thought the film was OK. Weather this was because expectations are so high or I wasn’t planning on seeing the movie I’m not sure. What I do know is that it is not very scary, more creepy than anything. Lots of weird characters make their appearance in the insane asylum and a lot of it comes off as window dressing or merely props to throw back in your face later on in the film. When I try to dissect what really bothered me about the film I really couldn’t place it. The acting is top notch, the script is great, the cinematography is gorgeous and the directing is flawless. Unfortunately, this movie is not the sum of its parts.

I may be so bold to even preclude this film is a little boring. There is lots of talking and exposition and not enough frightening scenes. That’s not to say this movie doesn’t have mood, it’s dripping off the dirty rocks and rusted bars from the drenched hurricane. It won’t scare you as much as it will creep you out and leave you thinking Scorsese is really weird. If you want a thinking movie, this is a good stop, just don’t over think the ending and ruin it for yourself.

See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!!
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!
Wait for it on TV!
Don’t Bother


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