Movie Review: Signs (2002)
There are going to be spoilers in this review. A non-spoiler review can’t really get that in-depth.
Earlier today, I wrote a review for Twilight. Twilight is a bad movie. Little did I know when I was writing that review that I was going to watch an even worse movie today. Twilight, for all its faults, is still watchable even though some parts are laughably bad. I honestly believe that Signs is the most unwatchable movie ever made. Signs makes Twilight look like The Godfather. At Guantanamo Bay, they probably show the prisoners DVD copies of Signs. This movie has probably made me more (unintentionally) angry than anything else I have ever seen.
Let me begin with the characters. Mel Gibson plays a boring version of Mel Gibson who used to be a preacher but gave it up after he lost his faith after losing his wife. Joaquin Phoenix plays a former baseball player who at the beginning of the film looks like he’ll be the “strong” member of the family but about halfway through he turns into the biggest crybaby ever. Abigail Breslin plays Mel Gibson’s daughter. She does an okay job, I had no real problems with her. But then there’s her brother, played by Rory Culkin. Oh my god. This kid is, no exaggeration, the worst character in the history of anything. I’m not just talking about movies — plays, books, video games, you name it. There’s no way there has ever been a character worse than Morgan Hess. He’s one of those “know-it-all” kids who acts NOTHING like any kid his age has ever acted taken to unbelievably annoying levels.
Anyway, aliens come to earth. Surprise. The whole first half of the movie is spent in a way like you’d expect, with a lot of people going “WTF aliens? Seriously there are aliens?!”…nothing really happens in the first half of the film besides that. The whole first half of the movie you’re basically thinking “well this is just setting things up; the second half is probably going to be pretty cool with the aliens attacking and whatnot”. No, the second half of the movie is the stupidest second half with the worst twist ever.
Here’s the twist. Like I’ve been saying, there are aliens invading Earth; they’ve traveled across the universe to a planet like Earth. Even though they have the mental ability to do that, these are the STUPIDEST aliens ever. Water kills them. So naturally, they decided to come to a planet where 70% of the planet is WATER. A planet where there is water vapor in the atmosphere all the time (plot hole here — the water vapor does nothing to them apparently). That’s fine, but of course the aliens wear space suits right? Nope, they just decide to run around without anything protecting their bodies. These aliens are morons. By the way, the aliens eat humans. Humans are over 90% water. And how were they planning to stay on a planet where RAIN happens? Plot holes: the movie.
The way they figure out the water thing is stupid too. Abigail Breslin’s character just happens to drink water all the time but she basically just takes a sip out of a glass before starting another glass of water. She says it’s because the first glass of water is “contaminated”. Of course, these glasses of water are just randomly scattered throughout the house and never picked up or anything. So by pure luck, a glass of water gets knocked over and spills onto an alien. I think the chances of that scenario happening are 999,999,999,999,999 to 1. Basically this movie is telling you that miracles are all around you. *headdesk*
It’s not like Signs can hang its hat on being entertaining either — it isn’t. It’s a really slow-paced movie where you’re just hoping something happens but you feel really underwhelmed by the time the whole thing is over. By the way, Mel Gibson gets his faith back at the end of the movie because of a series of flashbacks and stuff involving his wife. Hooray. I also forgot to mention that there’s this weird attempt at comedy thrown in at really strange times throughout the film that seems forced and is never funny.
I started this review talking about Twilight. At least Twilight knows that it isn’t a deep movie. Signs on the other hand acts like it’s the best movie ever made when in reality it’s one of the worst.