Sunday, January 4, 2009
"Alex, I would like Flick-Flops for 1,000 Dollars."
"The Answer is...This film, which rhymes with Windtalkers stinks even worse."
"Skinwalkers is correct...you control the board...select your next answer."
If only Skinwalkers were nothing more than an insignificant Jeopardy! question...but no...I sat through the entire 110 minutes of this stinker. Windtalkers was a big budget flop, while Skinwalkers was a B-Movie flop. A big budget could not have done anything to help this film which was painful to watch. It was a complete and utter mess.
Skinwalkerstells the story of werewolves who set themselves apart from other werewolves because they find that feasting on human flesh is inherently wrong. These special werewolves are taken care of by Native Americans who they refer to as...are you ready? Caretakers. The werewolves that do feast on human blood are drunk with the power that comes with their blood thirst. This whole thing reeks of a cheap knock-off taken directly from the Stephenie Meyers books. However, Meyers story-telling makes sense. There is a legend that a half-breed boy will bring about the end of the blood thirst, "curing" the werewolves and depriving them of their power as well as their thirst for blood. The movie runs like a countdown clock, with the bad werewolves attempting to locate the half-breed boy that would bring about their demise.
There are so many things wrong with this film I don't know where to begin. There a plot holes worse than the potholes on I-94. First of all, these werewolves have to be physically restrained in a Machiavellian type harness system to control their urge to hunt. So I have to ask...how did this system come about to begin with...a system that requires human intervention to assist in the restraining process...and how did the Native Americans come to be the caretakers? It would have been a pretty tense situation the first time out. But more confusing is the concept that these good werewolves maintain a pure bloodline. A bloodline that will eventually produce a half-breed (half human) that could deliver a cure. It seems that these werewolves would be forced to in-breed in order to maintain pure bloodlines and not mix with bad werewolves.
However, the plot doesn't stop requiring willful suspension of disbelief. The writers (James DeMonaco and Todd Harthan) expect us to accept some pretty major plot twists that make absolutely no sense. I do not want to get into the plot twists which might give away too much, but suffice it to say...the relationships are deeper than they appear and really require a stretch of the imagination. Although creative, this script is not a bit plausible...even allowing for the fact that is contains supernatural elements. The dialogue is equally weak. The lines are often predictable. The attempts at creating drama fall far short of where they were intended to go making the entire plot feel contrived. I remember thinking at the end of the film..."how convenient." It just wasn't plausible. Plus...I liked the bad guys better...at least the characters were interesting...I was hoping the bad guys would win...and I don't think that was what the writers intended.
The acting was on par with the writing. Jason Behr (as Varek) was the only actor I cared much for and he was one of the bad guys. Behr was acceptable in a role that was completely absurd. Elias Koteas played his brother Jonas, one of the good guys. I like Koteas...he has an impressive resume and has been a solid supporting actor in some films I have enjoyed. But this role didn't do him any favors. I was not impressed with his hammy performance. Rhona Mitra plays the mother of the promised one...her role was so ridiculous that I couldn't believe she took it. She also has an impressive resume (and was in The Shooterwith Koteas...I enjoyed that movie...although I enjoy Mark Wahlberg's films). Mitra's character was flat and she was unable to sell the character even a little bit. Maybe it was the role, maybe it was Mitra...maybe a combination. But she was bad. Another veteran, Natassia Malthe, played one of the villains. I only liked her performance because she is easy on the eyes. The cast as a whole, have extensive work in Hollywood under their belts...why this group got duped into doing such a bad film, I cannot understand...but they did not bring anything to the table to make this weak film any better.
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