Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Movie Review: Remember Me

Over this 4th of July weekend, I watched 3 movies! Those of you who are regular readers to my blog know that I am notoriously cheap when it comes to movie watching, because I don't want to reward Hollywood by paying their outrageous fees for their unoriginal, formulaic crap! However, thanks to a special deal, I was able to rent 3 movies for $2! w00t!

I am now about to review the first of the 3 movies I watched, and that is Remember Me, which has the vampire dude from the Twilight Series, Robert Pattinson. (pausing to allow the ladies to sigh).  I rented this movie because I had told a FB friend *a year ago* that I'd watch it.  Who knew that a whole year would pass before I got around to it?  LOL  I didn't forget, GF, I've just been that busy!  Anyway, before I continue, time for me to state this:


Spoilers ahead!  If you have not seen the movie and don't want what's in it spoiled for you, then STOP READING NOW!

You have been warned!

And what an ending to spoil if you happened to read this before watching the movie! Okay, on to my review!

First, I think Pattinson did a great job of making you forget that he's the vampire dude from the Twilight series.  He showed the right amount of emotion for each of the scenes, including one scene in which he was pissed with himself for being pwned by the father of his girlfriend.  But I found the scenes with his little sister to be especially touching.  He conveyed his brotherly love for her in a way that was sweet and goofy, and yet didn't delve into sugary.  Pattinson's looks alone will probably be enough reason for most of the ladies to watch the movie, but his acting adds a nice additional reason to watch.  I think this movie is worth watching at least once just to see him in a role other than as a vampire. 

However, I am close to saying that his acting was wasted in this movie.  There are three things that bother me about it.  For one, it begins and ends in one of NYC's subway stations, which ain't necessarily a bad thing, but I'm not sure how that ties into the overall plot of the movie.  Those scenes seem to serve only to tell us that "This is NYC" and that's pretty much it. 

Next is the most irritating part of the movie for me, and that was the evilness of Pattinson's character's father in the movie.  I get that the dad is a hard hearted ass; what I don't understand is why.  The only reason that dad seems to be considered evil is because he is a wealthy CEO of a company.  No reason or explanation is given as to why he is that way with his family; we are supposed to just accept it. 

It gets especially bothersome later when he suddenly has a change of heart at the end of the movie, and also at the end of the movie when Pattinson's character happens to catch his dad's computer running a screensaver of pics of his kids at different ages.  Oh, so he wasn't such a bad guy after all!  Hnngh!  It would have been better if the writers had made dad a complicated character instead of this cardboard CEO villain, and it might have even been shown as a trait that he shares with his son.

However, the ending is what I am still debating as to whether it works for this movie.  At the end of the movie, while Pattinson's character is waiting for his dad in his office, we suddenly discover that dad's office is located in the World Trade Center.  On September 11, 2001.  Yes, he happens to be in the towers during the terrorist attack, and we discover that he was one of 9/11's victims. 

I've been wrestling with this, and I am of two minds on it.  On one hand, the ending seems artificial and contrived; like the director said, "You know what?  I'm tired of this movie.  Let's just kill him off in the 9/11 attack."  On the other hand, the ending does kinda convey the horror of the 9/11 attack.  How many life stories were ended in a similar way?  On the one hand, the ending seems exploitative, but on the other hand, it does show that you never know how your life will end. 

I think what might help this movie is to have a sequel, set 10 years later, and update us on how the little sister has handled losing two brothers; including one who was killed in the worst terrorist attack in US history.  I understand why the advertisements for RM couldn't say: "This is a 9/11 movie", because that would have given away the ending, but now that it's been established, they can work it in to the plot of the sequel.  It doesn't have to be political in any way; in fact, it can be instructive in helping us understand what the loved one of the 9/11 victims went through - and continue to go through - in their losses.

And it can neatly tie into the first movie in this way:  In RM, the little girl lost one brother to suicide when he turned 22.  She also lost her second brother at age 22 in the 9/11 attack.  This movie's plot can reflect that she is now about to turn 22.  So what happens?  Does she also die in some sad, tragic way at age 22; or does the movie end when she turns 23?  In any case, a sequel can help tie up some plotholes and loose ends, and also convey a message about how life goes on, even after the worst terror attack in history. 

On a scale of 1 to 10 in which 1 is a bomb and 10 is THE bomb, I give RM a 7.5.  It might have been at least an 8.5 if the writers had done some explaining as to why dad was a hard-ass jerk, but Pattinson's acting helped save my rating from being lower.  If the producers of RM make a sequel along the lines of what I described above, I just might revise my ratings upwards.  :-)

Coming soon will be my reviews of The King's Speech and Zombieland.

No comments: