Pug-faces science teacher, Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg), and his goggle-eyed wife, Alma (Zooey Deschanel), have a major problem on their hands. No. Don't fret. It doesn't have anything to do with their love-less marriage. Instead, it is because an air born virus is making people kill themselves near where they live. Plus in addition to this, when they flee the area, they are then persuaded to look after the daughter of one of Eliot's friends, Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez), because Eliot's pal has to look for his wife amidst this chaos.
Still, it could be worse I suppose, this virus could be following them at every move they make. Right? No. Wrong. That's what happens.
The train station. The country roads. The wilds of the outdoors. Wherever this hapless trio try to find some shelter, them, plus the many other denizens whom also yearn to seek some sanctuary, are hounded by this strange occurrence time and time again.
However, over time, Elliot comes to realise certain aspects of how this deadly phenomenon is triggered into the Earth atmosphere. Firstly, he presumes that the virus is produced by plants, and then spreads within the wind. Secondly, he latches onto the fact that this virus has to be inhaled for it to take effect. And thirdly, he comes to the realization that this virus only attacks a large number of people at any given time.
Great news for Elliot, Alama, and Jess, right? All they have to do now is find a safe place to stay until all of this mess can calm down. What about if they stay at that old decrepit house boarded up to the nines?
OK, maybe not.
But then again there is that house where that crazy old lady lives? That miserable old bag who is as depressing as the state of the economy? Could work.
Well, that is probably why what next transpires is as strange as a twelve dollar bill. As winds rush - lovers gush - children blush - and three month later, the French will all turn into mush.
Now before I blast 'The Happening' into oblivion, please allow me to tell you a personal story about how I feel about this film. Ahem. Many a year ago a not so close friend mind of mine called Aaron died. Well, I knew Aaron from college you see, and he was just someone I would say 'Hi' to whenever we'd met. Anyway, Aaron snuffed it, and one day me and another college mate of mine, Hien, thought that it would be a nice gesture if we went to his funeral.
Err. The thing was, is that as soon as we both turned up, nigh on everything me and Hien saw just felt funny to us! The lady priest had a voice of a harpy, the body of Beyonce, and whenever she would mention Aaron's name during her eulogy, it sounded like a swarm of seals being gunned down by an army of lepers. Moreover, all of Aaron's family looked like they should be in the cast of 'Goodfellas', and when Hien commented on how the cemetery was full to capacity, I had to bust a funny by replying back to him with "Yeah. Some people are just dieing to get into cemeteries nowadays".
Dark humour, right? Well, that is what I thought about 'The Happening' really. It just came across as a really serious film that I could not help but laugh at in that rather obtuse way.
For example, at the beginning of the film when people were jumping off the building like lemmings - it reminded me of a Monty Python sketch. Then there was that whole bit when Mark says things like "Oh! We should be OK now" or "As long as we keep ahead of the wind", and the very next minute, something bad would happen to the people around him. Also, there was that whole section when he was talking to a plant like Prince Charles, or that old nutty woman who was just a fruit loop as soon as she stepped onto the screen.
Now listen, please don't get me wrong, this flick is not a bad-bad flick. Rather, its the way in which it was executed which made me chuckle at times - as if it was meant to be a serious comedy but played straight. Plus in addition to this, I was genuinely intrigued by the pretext of the film more so than the characters themselves - as these types of things do happen at times you know!
Nice and easy song to listen too, huh? Just like how 'The Happening' was a rather nice and easy going film to watch as well. The characters were so-so within the scheme of things. The pretext was an intriguing one as a concept. And by enlarge it wasn't a bad-bad film all in all. It was just not one for those people with a satirical eye.
Satirical eye? Is that a phenomenon too?
THE RATING: B