Where the Wild Things Are
Reviewed by Nov 7th, 2009

where_the_wild_things_are-poster2What’s wrong with me these days? Am I a glutton for punishment? Or do I just have bad luck when it comes to watching movies? All too often, I end up watching garbage and then mourning the loss of two hours of my life. The horrible remake of The Wicker Man with Nicolas Cage was one such movie, but at least it was redeemed with hilariously wrong scenes of Nic Cage punching out women in bear suits. At least I could laugh at that. Where the wild Things Are just sucks hard and is an hour and a half of nonstop irritation. It’s not just bad, it’s actually painful to watch.

Much has been said about the time movies spend on different aspects of life. If you go by movies, you might guess that people spend about 30% of their life having sex, and most of them never sleep. There is a reason for the amount of screen time different activities get. WTWTA proves this. People (or monsters) throwing tantrums onscreen is like people taking a shit: you know everybody does it from time to time, but you don’t want to pay money to watch anyone do it (unless you’re into scat).

Now, I haven’t read the book in more than twenty years, but I can remember the basic premise. It may have only worked because it was a book, and had great illustrations. Aren’t the illustrations really the only thing people really remember about this book? As a film, it’s overly long, and every single character in it is annoying. I wanted to jump into the film and punch everyone in the face repeatedly.

Since the story is well known, I will remind you of it anyway: Max, a little boy in wolf pajamas, is a miserable brat who throws fits and bites his mother, then runs away. He finds himself in the woods, in a small colony of monsters, all of whom are immature brats who love violence and throw tantrums. The main difference is that Max bites, and the monsters actually eat each other and rip each other’s arms off. Max lies that he is a king, but he fouls that up too, because he’s an immature brat who loves violence. Blah blah blah, everybody hugs and stares at each other with braindead, vacant smiles on their faces.

The problem is not the adaptation, Maurice Sendak was on board here, the problem is the script and the way that every character was so annoying that watching it was unbearable. I know, the whole premise of the book is that pretty much everyone in it is an asshole, but this doesn’t really make for enjoyable viewing. Because you are inclined to hate every character, the film also has no emotional impact, unless you count extreme boredom and wishing the characters would all die or at least shut up. Every bit of dialogue seems specifically crafted to annoy the viewer. This is the fault of the screenwriter. The book only contained a few sentences, so the vast quantity of bad filler material ruined this. The dialogue is all terribly stupid.

The one good point here is the creatures themselves, visually they work out pretty well. This may not be the best film for kids because it just teaches you to eat your friends and rip their limbs off, while lying that you were a Viking king for twenty years; and it’s certainly not a film for adults, unless they want their childhood memories ruined. Boo.

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2 Responses to “Where the Wild Things Are”

  1. I have to confess, I went to go see this too and fell asleep. Not often is it that I ever fall asleep in the movies because of loud nosies and stupid teenagers. But this one lulled me right to sleep and I was shook awake by Shadow and the poor kid that needed to sweep the isle we were sitting in.

  2. The previews/commercials didn’t look too bad, I thought. Then I watched it. ARGH. Terrible. I hated everything except the costumes. I wish more characters would’ve gotten their limbs ripped off, though.

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