Hauling Like A Brooligan

Stephen Gallagher

The End of the Road

If I see a worse film than 2012 this year it’ll only be because Roland Emmerich rushes out another one… not that it wasn’t well-made on every technical level, but it was of an order of dumb magnificence that pretty much took my breath away.

Its narrative intelligence was at the level of a simulator ride, and the bits that made it worth sticking through were exactly those moments where some vehicle or other was hurtling through a collapsing CGI landscape. Cusack, Ejiofor and company sell their terrible lines with such commitment that they ought to be the front-runners in every awards race that’s going. Any halfway decent actor can find motivation in a good script and play their role sincerely; it takes a titan of the profession to bring conviction to shit like this.

One example. Some organisation is charging a billion dollars per passenger for a place on an ark that will let the purchaser ride out the complete destruction of all civilization on earth.

Er… why? That includes the banking system and all currency, folks.

And would you want to trust your life to the design and engineering skills of someone who couldn’t even think that one through?

Apparently people have been calling radio stations in the US, worried that the Mayans had predicted all this and that it’s all going to come true. I reckon that’s all the proof you need to justify taking someone’s kids away.

Here’s what I’d like to see; a video mashup combining 2012 and The Road. Two sides of the same apocalypse. It shouldn’t be too hard to find match cuts to counterpoint The Road‘s exploration of the father-son relationship with 2012‘s many ‘I love you dad’ moments. The Road‘s dour and sombre tone would add a much-needed gravitas to 2012, which in turn would liven up the Viggofest with some much-needed campervan stunts and exploding cities.

Then at the end, Mad Max shows up and saves the kid. Doesn’t matter which kid.

Moderation in all things, say I.

5 responses to “The End of the Road”

  1. I saw some of 2012 and agree with pretty much everything you've said here. I watched the first 30 mins or so and then flicked through the rest. Shit's too small a word. Couple of nice CGI moments, though.

  2. Speaking of CGI, I hear that Cameron's behind a 3D remake of Fantastic Voyage – not necessarily directing, but as one of the producers. I can see the logic, but… sheesh. All you can really do to it is add bells and whistles. And maybe be sure to get the sub debris out of the patient's head at the end, before it returns to normal size and kills him.

    I caught part of the remake of The Omen a couple of nights ago, and they were mostly re-using David Seltzer's screenplay with many of the lines unchanged. But it was neither played nor shot as well as the first time around. Usually with remakes it's a matter of scrubbing-up a property for a whole new audience but in this case, they watered it down… instead of Mrs Blalock's chilling, "Have no fear, little one, I am here top protect thee," we got, "Hello, Damien. I'm Mrs Blalock. I'm here to see that no harm comes to you."

  3. I can never see the point of remaking films that are pretty good to begin with – you're always on a hiding to nothing. 'The Omen' remake wasn't bad (although they didn't come near matching anything like David Warners spectacular head slicing) but at the end of the day, it's pointless. And remaking because the original is in black and white isn't good enough either – I watched the remake of 'Psycho' the other night and, other than being in colour, there was virtually nothing different from the original…except it just didn't work. The best remakes (for my money) are the ones that have a different spin on the story but retain the basic out-line – The Last Of The Mohicans, The Thing, The Thomas Crown Affair, Ocean's Eleven.

  4. It makes no sense from an artistic point of view but if you're a studio sitting on a property like The Omen, and it's played out most of its value in just about every market, then I guess a remake means you can revisit every avenue of exploitation all over again. The experience being that the multiplex crowd won't turn out for a movie made in 1976 but they will for one with this year's date and some faces they recognise.

    True story – last year I had a line in a script that mentioned Vincent Price. I got the note, "Our audience won't know who Vincent Price is."

  5. The problem with the remake of The Omen was it worked only as a marketing strategy: to release it on 06.06.06. What a great wheeze! Or not.

    And it's not just the Mrs Blalock line that doesn't work but Mia Farrow standing in for Billie Whitelaw. I believe that's what the youth of today would call a FAIL!

    If the audience doesn't know who Vincent Price is then that line of dialogue seriously needs to be there.