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Irreconcilable Differences: See No Evil

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It's been a while, but TV time gets cut come springtime it seems. But, fighting through that urge to play outside, the Mrs. and myself have finally managed to take a look at yet another stinker to share with you all. This week's feature takes a look at the WWE films and their latest product of misaligned intentions.

She said:

Over the years many wrestlers have stepped out of the ring to take a shot at the big screen. The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Goldberg, Triple H, Edge, and my personal favorite, Andre the Giant. Now we see Kane. Now let me start off by saying I have been a Kane fan, well sort of, since back when he wore a mask and didn't talk and did the whole boogieman sitting up thing like Mike Meyers or Jason Vorheese in his act. He seemed so intimidating and well, I always got a kick out of that. Of course this was back when WWE was WWF and had the whole storyline thing going. I always enjoyed that. It was my soap opera, along with Dark Shadows and Prisoner of Cell Block H.

Anyways I digress. Tonight we watched See No Evil. I had heard tales of how bad this movie was, but I had to see it for myself. In all actuality it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, not saying it was stellar or anything, but it had somewhat of an interesting idea behind it, albeit with an obvious twist to it.

Our story opens when two cops track down a guy who has been abducting people and removing the eyes. One cop is killed while the other loses a hand. We get a little bit of a story, but not much and the we are immediately teleported to four years later where our one-handed cop has now started working with troubled teens. They have set up a new community service program for young felons. As they introduce our young mischief-makers-in-training we are treated with little mug shots indicating what they are in for. My thought on it was hey cool, they will somehow use these talents to further the plot! I was sadly mistaken.

The "teens" (and I use that term loosely because some of them were really showing their age as late 20-somethings), though incarcerated, brought with them the luxuries of life including iPods, cell phones, street clothes, and lock picking tools. How nice of the prison authorities to allow them so much! They are taken to an old run down hotel that they are supposed to help fix up to turn into a homeless shelter. The hotel, we are told, has secret passages and two-way mirrors and all sorts of fun stuff including a secret safe that no one has been able to find.

Okay, so this movie could have been really cool. It had all the thoughts and ideas that could have made it neat… unfortunately that was where it stopped. The casting was horrible, the thin story lines, the fact that only two of the people actually used their "talents" that we were shown at the beginning of the movie, and the bad camera shots just made the whole thing a bit sad. That and Kane, who as I mentioned before I like, looked a little like Meatloaf. (Who I should also mention I like as well, but it just didn't work for me). Only a couple of times he came off as menacing, the rest of the time he seemed more like Lennie Small from Of Mice and Men.

As I mentioned the camera shots were not that great. A lot of the time it seemed they were using handhelds instead of steady cams. This only made the move seem low budgeted. Special effects wise, they did alright. Some of the gore make-up though looked like, well, make-up. There were some creative deaths; the cell phone down the throat was really nicely done. Other than that, most of it seemed a bit quick. A lot of the death scenes came unprovoked and too fast. There was no build up, no shock, no thrill, nothing. Just boom, he's dead, boom, she's dead. No real chance to get to the edge of your seat. With most of the characters you didn't get a chance to really give a shit if they lived or died. You see, that is what makes a movie scary. If you actually get a little bit of an emotional investment in the character, you hope that they live, or you hate them enough that you just hope they die for principle's sake. With these characters, it seemed they tried, but didn't pull it off.

So, Vince McMahon, if you read this, you may want to stick to the wrestling circuit. You failed with football and movies just don't seem to be your thing either.

Two eyeballs in a jar out of five.

He said:

Ah yes, WWE pictures. When you can’t get Hollywood to pick up any of your top talent, create your own film studio!

As the First Lady mentioned, there’s been a lot of pro wrestlers try to make the jump to Hollywood, most with mixed results. There are a few that stand out from the others, of course. Rowdy Roddy Piper graced us with some classics such as They Live and Hell Comes to Frogtown. Jesse “The Body” Ventura even showed us some kick ass action flick chops in classics such as Predator and The Running Man. As of late the WWE to Hollywood turnover has trickled down to a bare minimum. The Rock, my own personal choice for the next Arnie/Action Movie Star, is a rare commodity in that he can actually act, and he’s pretty damn funny as well. (Don’t believe me? See Be Cool.) So when they decide to take a stab at a WWE horror flick, it would seem like a natural move to take their storied boogie man Kane and turn him into a monster. He’s always played a monster, should be a natural change over. Unfortunately they fell far short of that.

Keep in mind I am in no way placing the blame for this stinker on the shoulders of Kane. As far as we know, he may make a fabulous horror movie monster. He’s got the build and the looks for it. Unfortunately for him, he has so little to work with we never get to see his full potential come to light. Stomping about in simple minded obsession we see little more than various looks of constipation upon his face, and many eyeballs plucked out here in there. That’s really all they ever use him for. Sure the low action/zero facial expressions worked well for Mike Myers stalking Laurie Strode but there was a major difference there — they had John Carpenter writing for them.

Moving on, if you want to place blame somewhere you’re best served looking in the writing department first. Filled with holes and little to no tension, See No Evil jumps about randomly, leaving us wondering just what the hell the connection is between the homeless shelter and the house shown four years earlier at the beginning of the film. While we never do receive a direct explanation for this, we’re given brief flashes of his past and childhood that resulted in this maniacal killer standing before us. Thankfully they did flesh out this angle a bit, keeping us from a total case of blue balls. Where the biggest failure lies, however, is in the lack of tension. Not ten minutes into the film, our baddie starts cutting down victims left and right. No scary music to foreshadow it, no real exposition that this person did something to deserve to die, no hint that he’s going to die. Boom, dead, on to the next one. While I do tend to get frustrated with slasher flicks that drone on endlessly before getting down to the good and gory stuff, I still expect be given a bit of tension. That’s what makes it scary.

If the writing isn’t bad enough, the rest of the cast working around Mr. Kane is downright uninteresting, to say the least. With wooden delivery and a general lack of enthusiasm, our acting starts to descend to the B-movie sub-cellar, surpassing even the most mediocre Sci-Fi channel originals. While the latter tend to go overboard, at least they have some emotion. In See No Evil it would seem that most of the secondary cast is entirely focused on portraying their stereotype, forgetting to factor in anything else that might make a character. Generally I would start to root for the killer at this point in hopes of him dispatching the annoying being perched before me, but this time around I began rooting for the clock in anticipation of the end credits rolling.

I found no redeeming qualities in See No Evil and unfortunately for Mr. Kane, I feel somewhat dumber having watched it. While a couple of the kills were indeed unique and relatively enjoyable, they’re mired so deep into the dung heap it’s the equivalent of finding a turd with corn as opposed to one with no corn. I stopped caring around the fifteen minute mark. Professional wrestling has better writing than this.

Mr. Kane, I hope you get a second shot; I really would like to see you take a shot at a real monster.

One maniacal killer out of five.

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