Saturday, February 09, 2008

They Live

They Live (John Carpenter, 1988) [3]
The ideas present in this film could certainly make an interesting film but it's just not this film. Carpenter takes a film with grand ideas and creates a B-movie that no amount of absurd humorous moments can redeem its overall poor execution. Former pro wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper plays a man with no name and no past who happens to find a pair of sunglasses. The thing is, these sunglasses reveal to our man Piper that the world is run by an alien race that wants the human population to become subserviant and complacent. Along with no buddy Keith David, Piper teams up with other guerillas in order to stop the aliens in their dastardly plot...You know what? Nothing about this story had an interest for me whatsoever and that's hard to say with a movie starring the Rowdy one and Keith David. What intrigues me is what Carpenter clearly wants to address, the issue that corporate and more specifically here, Reagan's America, has created a culture pre-occupied with distraction and complacent behavior in regards to authority. The problem is that the film gets sidetracked trying to make a valid point by taking forever to get to the point of the story. The film's almost half over before Piper finds the glasses and I can't figure out who made the sunglasses or how they work. Logic is one thing to throw out here as how else to explain the borderline ridiculous fight scene (which was the reason I rented it, on account of the South Park parody). I'm not that much of a film snob that I don't hate camp or B movies but there is a line between being enjoyable to watch and boring. Any laughs or ironic commentary that can be found in They Live still don't make it that close to being enjoyable.

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