Kon Tiki: Missing the Boat
To write that critiquing movies is subjective is as understated as declaring there are a few topes in Mexico. No two people have the exact same taste. Anita and I come close. My Blogging amigo Steve Cotton (an absolute MUST READ Blog) is another story.
Take for instance his recent review of the latest James Bond offering. Steve applauded the film. I thought it was boring, predictable and absurd. Steve’s assessment is shared by a record setting number or viewers. I have resigned myself to most often not going along with the crowd. In the Bond film case I am in an embarrassing small group of diss-likers.
Another criticism of the Bond film and many currently of that ilk is the phenomenon where by the protagonists of an action film perform remarkable, unbelievable, ‘realistic‘ human feats such as jumping 20 feet or more from a bridge to a moving truck or train roof, landing with a roll and then springing up and move on. We are talking super human stunts often many within mere seconds of action. Totally preposterous feats that I am sure would have caused great bodily harm in reality.
It is rather like watching cartoons where no matter how smacked around a cartoon character gets – they are seldom depicted as hurt – but this is real life action films that more than border on the ridiculous.
The new James Bond flick is fraught with examples of my discontent.
Am I taking the all too frequent use of the new technology that creates these superhuman stunts too seriously? Perhaps.
We seldom watch these kinds of film – but then there are the franchise movies that if one does not see then they are simply out-of-it; like the Eddie Murphy fuzzy-cop series, Bruce Willis Die Hard action film series, Jason Bourne film series, the James Bond series and because our son grew up with Harry Potter books – those films. More Steve’s cup of tea than ours; we pretty much abhor violence. We gave up on those violent action films when Clint Eastwood was still a young man.
“Skyfall” the 23rd James Bond film being touted as “the best ever”, well after Steve’s glowing report I really wanted to like it – but alas no cigar on that one let alone any gold statuary. It is likely Steve and I will be in agreement regarding the New “Lincoln” movie which he has already reviewed (Steve’s Review HERE).
Speaking of Clint Eastwood, we recently watched “Trouble with the Curve”. This was a real stinker with amateur hour written all over the script, dialogue, acting, continuity, pace and more. In Eastwood’s defense (because I truly like Clint) this was the first film he has done in which he did not direct since 1993. I had to maintain hope that this one got through without Clint noticing how bad virtually every aspect of the film was.
Anita and I discussed over a couple of days the wonderment I had as to how someone that makes good to great movies can come up with such a terrible product. With some actors I will give the benefit of the doubt because of their lack of control over the final editing etc. But in “Trouble with the Curve” I could see obvious problems in the script – truly a film that should have NEVER been made.
OK I admit I am a tough critic. Lately I have just not been able to wrap my head around any of the new films. We dusted off Willie Nelson’s “Honeysuckle Rose” the other night just to get a break from bad movies. Sure a light romantic comedy – but with good pace, terrific music and mostly fine acting. I recall a young Amy Irving received a Razzie for her performance – but we liked her in it and “Yentl”. Being pretty can smooth over some bad acting I suppose.
That brings us to the new Thor Heyerdahl “Kon Tiki” film.
I grew up on Thor Heyerdahl adventures. I watched with excitement every installment of his television series that chronicled the 5000 mile Kon Tiki sea adventure – the real kind of action and adventure where men did amazing things, but they were not dropping off of bridges and such heights to moving vehicles or crashing through ceiling windows to the floor 30 feet below – unhurt and un-phased.
In the years that followed Kon Tiki, Heyerdahl was an outspoken advocate on issues of international peace and the environment –issues near and dear to my heart. I mean the guy was an adventurer to be admired. So when I heard that they were making a movie, a docudrama, about the Kon Tiki expedition, and that this production was being produced by his countrymen in Norway (proclaimed as Norway’s biggest-budget film ever), I though alright a little sanity in today’s film making experience.
After reading some reviews before I could get a hold of the film my excitement was piqued. I was already making space in my top 40 favorite films for this epic production.
Sadly my list remains intact. The movie was not nearly as good as the original Oscar winning 1951 grainy black and white Kon Ticki documentary (which I dug up and watched BEFORE viewing the new film). And still further afield from the hugely successful book.
Aside from some spectacular scenery this film was an abject loser. They fictionalized much of the story (it is after all a DocuDRAMA) in a number of pointless ways. There were enough plot twists and conflict in the actual event that the fictionalized efforts were ridiculous and poorly depicted at that.
It was rather like a bad remake of “Jaws” with a little “Mutiny on the Bounty” thrown in to entice. What a disappointment!
Kon Tiki: Jaws Meets Mutiny on the Bounty
Would that I had the word space to really give this film its due (it would not be pretty). Suffice it to say get a hold of the original documentary if you are interested; and save the dough and time you would be wasting on the new production.
Or write me and tell me why I am wrong about this. Stay Tuned!