"Old" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
M. Night Shyamalan started his career very successfully back in 1999, making "The Sixth Sense" with Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment. From there, he began his career in filmmaking and released some pretty good films, as well as making some horrible pictures that are hated by both critics and fans alike throughout the world. For his most recent attempt, his movie "Old" falls in the horrible category, giving us a film that is so convoluted, weird, and annoying that it simply does not work on any level imaginable.
The basis of the plot is pretty intriguing. It follows these families and couples that go away to this beach resort, hoping to have a good time. The main protagonists of the film consist of Guy (Gael García Bernal) and his wife, Prisca (Vicky Krieps), as well as their two kids, Maddox (played in order by Alexa Swinton, Thomasin McKenzie, and Embeth Davidtz) and Trent (played in order by Nolan River, Luca Faustino Rodriguez, Alex Wolff, and Emun Elliott). When the family is offered to go to a secluded, private area of the resort that consists of a beautiful beach and waterfall, they agree to go for the day.
They soon realize that they will be joined by others, including a doctor and his very young wife with their daughter, a couple whose wife suffers from epilepsy, and a rapper and his girlfriend. However, when they get to the beach, everything goes sideways as people are suddenly dropping like flies, and Maddox and Trent have suddenly aged years before their very eyes.
That's when the people on the beach realize that the beach is making them age rapidly, giving most of them only a day before they all die out. Now forced to work together and put their differences aside, the remaining vacationists must now figure out how to escape the beach alive, before time takes them like it just did their loved ones.
Like I said, the plot does sound very intriguing. However, Shyamalan takes a great plot like that and absolutely ruins it. He adds in way too many plot devices and minor storylines that it distracts you from the main storyline at hand. At the same time, he makes the characters so annoying that I honestly wondered how long I could sit and watch this farce of a thriller film.
I don't think it's anything of the actors' faults. They tried their best, and McKenzie and Wolff have proven more than enough that they are incredibly talented actors. But rather it's Shyamalan's inability to give these characters good traits or qualities. In fact, I was excited when he started killing off the more annoying characters.
Perhaps the thing that turned me off the most was the inclusion of two 6-year-olds having sex and the girl getting pregnant. Now, the characters are not in their 6-year-old bodies at the time as they aged to be in their late teens, but they still have the mentality of those little kids from the beginning of the film. It is honestly very sickening and it confuses me as to why anyone would put something like that in their film. I've seen some horrible things in movies - murder, rape, torture, etc, but there just seems something wrong with thinking how these young kids could have it in their head to have sex and get pregnant. The birthing scene was almost as painful to watch as the fact.
The plot twist, because there is no Shyamalan film without a plot twist, is pretty generic and easy to guess, leaving no surprise for the viewer as it is revealed and the movie starts to wrap up. You can basically see everything coming in this movie a mile away, which is disappointing as Shyamalan proved before that he could deliver a great thriller/horror with fantastic plot twists and storylines. It seems like he is running out of ideas, and is just getting too old to make films like these anymore.
As the credits rolled, I sat back, both mad and upset that I had wasted my time in watching such a poor attempt at a film that could have been great. It had the plot, the setup, the characters, the suspense - but Shyamalan decides to throw that all away and take the easy way out. It's incredibly frustrating and disappointing, and from what I know, he has a new movie lined up after this one. I'm sure I'll probably be writing another review just like this one when that new movie comes out.