Dir; Susanne Bier. Starring; Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich. R. Color. 124 min.
Losing the ability to see would be a traumatizing life-changing event and makes for great drama. Director Susanne Bier thinks that plot line is better for a ridiculous horror movie that makes no sense, main characters have the I.Q. of a four-year-old, and the apocalypse comes in the form of some type of wind that when you look at it you are compelled to kill yourself. It’s basically “The Happening” part 2.
Sandra Bullock plays Malorie, a desperate blindfolded woman who takes her two children on a dangerous journey in a rowboat down the river towards some type of safe haven. Cut to five years earlier. Malorie, a reluctant loner, is picked up by her sister Jessica (Sarah Paulson) to go for a sonogram for a pregnancy that is an inconvenience in Malorie’s life. During the journey back and forth from the hospital people are continually seeing “something” that suddenly forces them to kill themselves.
Surviving a suicidal car crash by her sister, Malorie makes her way into a house full of cliche characters in a post apocalyptic movie. You’ve got the crazy dude with a gun (John Malkovich), the delirious old lady (Jacki Weaver), the comic relief that isn’t funny (Lil Rey Howery), the dumb one (Rosa Salazar), and the dreamy guy Sandra Bullock will certainly end up with (Trevante Rhodes). The unlikely group works quickly to cover up all the windows in the house so nobody can see, um, whatever it is.
And that is about the only intelligent decision a character makes for the next two hours. The journey down the river with Malorie and her kids is intertwined with the events leading up to her current predicament. An innovative way to tell the story conceptually if “Bird Box” had anything interesting happen beyond victims getting red eyes like they got too stoned when they see, ah, when they see?
I’m done explaining the story. Allow me to highlight the multitude of mind boggling stupid moments here. Spoilers ahead (if you even care after the first thirty minutes).
Let us begin with the survivors locked up in the house. So many mistakes are made for no reason that I’m sure the screenwriters justified it by saying “it’s paranoia”! My favorite is when after a long time had passed and the group let in a stranger named Gary (Tom Hollander) into the house. It has not quiet been revealed yet that the “whatever things” are now controlling people to make others “see”. Yet, the only person who realizes it might not be a good idea to let this guy without a blindfold into the house is crazy shotgun guy John Malkovich? At least the only consistently smart character is the black dude. Breaking racial lines Netflix! He almost makes it. Maybe in the sequel my friend.
Then we come to the monsters, or wind, or aliens, or perhaps even Jesus and his second coming? This whatever entity is powerful enough to spread around the globe causing billions of people to either kill themselves or become mindless zombies (perhaps a scientology metaphor). Birds are unaffected (I’ll get to that). It does not however have the power to send its influence through a house with single layered newspapers covering the windows or a crocheted blanket full of holes. And on top of that, for a movie where the characters must cover up the windows, the lighting is surprisingly majestic.
Then you come to the end. Malorie and the kids hit some tough rapids blindly and the boat turns over. She has three birds in a box around her neck to warn when the bad wind comes around. She manages to save the kids and make it to shore. The birds must have drowned. Nope, they’re good. They enjoyed a nice bath. Then the family makes it to the compound which is a M. Night Shymalan twist. It’s a school for the blind, duhn, duhn, duhn. Apparently the wind monsters have not found their way around vision deficiency.
In the initial edit “Bird Box” apparently had actual CGI monsters. They were reportedly cut because they looked too ridiculous. I would have advised the producers to stick with the crappy SyFy channel looking creatures. That way the audience would be focused only on laughing at bad CGI effects instead of laughing at how bad your entire movie is.
Suck Factor: 6out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!