Signs (2002)

Signs

I saw this movie in theaters 3 times. When I was but a wee teenager. I loved it. Then I waited 13 years before I watched it again, and now you guys who exist in the future can go ahead and laugh at my naivety. This is Signs.

A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields which suggests something more frightening to come.

Holy shit this movie is bad. It really does mark the beginning of M. Night’s descent into… well, being such a hated director that After Earth actively hid his involvement in their promotions. It does share something in common with the movies that followed though, if you watch it as a comedy, it kind of works in a big way. That said, it’s really not good.

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A pre-breakdown Mel Gibson delivers a pretty weird and stilted performance, it’s really too bad. He’s shown that he can act, and act pretty well from time to time. His performance reminds me a little bit of Mark Wahlberg’s performance in The Happening. Everything is big, and silly and … stupid. We also have some pretty lousy child actors, including an early performance from Abigail Breslin. When I really think about it, I can’t even fault the actors for their performances, M. Night has shown his uncanny ability to get bizarre and terrible performances out of even great actors. So, his fault, the script’s fault, or their fault, the performances are not good.

On top of the weird performances, the movie is just silly on it’s face. It asks the audience to take some pretty stupid leaps, and a lot of the characters make decisions that don’t make any sense. Not to mention the twist. The aliens are hurt by…water. What drunk asshole alien came up with the idea to invade EARTH? They’re so far advanced, but they picked out a planet that is mostly water, with a species that is mostly water? Are you serious?

Was there just some drunk boasting on the alien planet? Someone had to get fired for this cock up of an invasion.

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The other unfortunate thing is the effects here, they went with CG aliens, and the effects from 2002 really haven’t aged very well. The aliens look silly and there’s no reason that they couldn’t have tried just a little bit harder and built some great costumes. Would have really made a difference.

So, this movie is just really weak and doesn’t offer up much in the way of scares or tension. It’s just…goofy and stupid. Skip it.

FINAL GRADE: D 

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