Over at Crooked Timber, they’re compiling a list of the 101 movies to definitely not see before you die. Someone mentioned Signs, which is my number 2 must-not-watch-ever-again film.* What with M. Knight Shyamalan’s latest turd about to drop in theaters next week, I thought I’d share my thoughts on why this man should be chased out of Hollywoodby the WGA.
Where to begin with Signs? So many plot holes…
A gang of teenagers with super soakers could have repelled the alien invaders, yet the National Guard is nowhere to be found, even in rural wherever-the-hell-they-are. Iowa, I’m guessing. But your guess is as good as mine as to why hydro-sensitive aliens would come to Earth, a planet made up almost entirely of water, only to invade a cornfield in Iowa. It makes only slightly more sense than if they were to invade a nightclub run by a gay couple in Miami. But just barely.
A farmer, even if he’s a preacher, has a shotgun. Wild dogs. Livestock with broken legs. These things happen. But Mel Gibson has Joaquin Phoenix and his magic baseball bat, so he’s good to go.
Aliens who are technologically advanced enough to fly half way across the galaxy decide to invade a planet that has the two things they can’t handle: water and doorknobs.†
And wouldn’t the aliens melt like the Wicked Witch of the West just by stepping outside their spaceships? Aliens who react to water like acid go for long nude walks through an irrigated corn field on, as mentioned before, a planet whose ecosystem is pretty much water, water everywhere. No problem. But splash them with some tap water and they start to do their vampire-in-sunlight impression. Well yeah. Other things these super advanced aliens have never invented: doorknobs, space suits, clothes in general. Towels.
And then the real topper– the alien invasion is apparently all just a test of Mel Gibson’s faith. God killed his wife so that, with her dying breath, she could pass on the secret that will save humanity from aliens: baseball and a tall glass of water. Sure, untold thousands of people died in the invasion‡ but at least Mel Gibson believes in God again.
The fact that there are obnoxiously cute children present would be tolerable in a decent film but here, it’s just one more poke in the eye.
* Number one is The Passion of the Christ. Jesus fucking Christ on a pogo stick–that would only be slightly more offensive than this film.
† M. Knight’s cameo-doctor locks an alien in his pantry by shutting the door. Faster than light travel is apparently a piece of cake but what’s this?! A strange mechanism is holding this door shut! Our invasion plans have hit their first snag.
‡ Seriously, we have no idea what the casualty count was. It’s implied that there was some pretty big shit going down in Buenos Aries and probably Jakarta. Maybe even Camaroon! But in Iowa it was just the neighbor down the road and a couple of those pesky kids and their dog. Or, maybe all the Jews were killed, which is why Mel Gibson’s world is happy and right again. Fuck if anyone knows because hay! all that’s important is Mel got his Sky Daddy back.