Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is Will Ferrell the cinematic Anti-Christ?

Or is LAND OF THE LOST just a really, really, really bad movie? The Washington Post seems to be leaning toward that opinion. Behold the first paragraph of their review of LAND OF THE LOST:

Soiler alert: Toward the end of the comedy remake of Sid and Marty Krofft's '70s lunchbox leftover, "Land of the Lost," Will Ferrell is eaten by a T. rex and then excreted out the creature's back end. Fans know to interpret this as a personal artistic statement from the actor. It's a metaphor for most of his movies now, and what happens to audiences who go in hoping for another "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" and come out smelling of "Step Brothers" and "Semi-Pro."

Let me preface my remarks by saying, of all SNL alum, Mr. Ferrell is one of the more annoying character performers I've ever witnessed. Yet he does a very good George Bush impression. That said I neither like nor dislike the man, per se, so much as wish some of his unfunny characters would fade away. Alas he seems like a stain on a old carpet. No matter what you do you can't get rid of it.

Here's another typical opening statement about LOTL from a review posted at Detroit Free Press:

Stupid on an epic scale or epic on a stupid one, "Land of the Lost" is as close as Will Ferrell comes these days to a kid-friendly movie.

And an article at Newsweek (blog) asks the question: Is "Land of the Lost" Ferrell's Worst-Reviewed Movie Ever? And contains the following intriguing comment:

The critics have been brutal -- anytime a movie is dismissed as "an ersatz pot of dinosaur piss," you might wanna consider other ways to drop $12.

It gets better, or worse, depending on your point of view. Witness the following from the Huffington Post article Flee from Land of the Lost:

See it and you lose your time, the money you spent on a ticket and, perhaps, the ability to walk upright without dragging your knuckles on the ground.

Abandon hope, all ye who enter.

With this film, Will Ferrell officially signals the end of his 15 minutes. Indeed, if it weren't for Matt Lauer, there'd be nary a laugh at all in this excruciatingly lazy and unnecessary film. I repeat: The biggest laughs belong to Matt Lauer.

That's pretty harsh. Then again, much as I hate to admit this, I was excited about the movie right up until it was announced Mr. Ferrell would be the lead. I honestly don't dislike the man -witness the fact I never griped about him getting the part here- but his characters are absurd one-dimensional plays off a singular theme; namely the cliché of the "stupidly annoying moronic twit" with a inflated ego. You can only subject an audience to this sort of low-brow character so much before they get tired of it and turn on you, which may be what's happening here. Witness the appearance of such articles as The end of the Will Ferrell years? which is a response to the article Is America over Will Ferrell? and you get the general idea. As one of the article writer's put it:

Frankly, I can only handle him [Will Ferrell] in small doses. He seems like a likeable enough guy, and as much as I want to enjoy him in roles, I rarely — if ever — have liked him in leading roles. To be completely fair, though, I haven't really been moved to see many of his leading role films. I tried to sit through 'Anchorman', but aside from the back alley 'anchorman fights', couldn't do it.

Amen! Seriously you know it's bad when a remake that is a total departure from the source material generates headlines that aren't griping about the change in story line or characters but complaints about the lead actor and all his works. That's not fame it's infamy. And it's a shame to see because I used to watch LAND OF THE LOST as a kid. The fact LOTL is already being written off by some as just another lame piece of crap in the filmography of an overindulged comedian-turned-actor (witness the headline Call Ferrell's latest 'Wasteland of the Lost') rather than being judged on it's own merits, or lack thereof, is sad.

So, no, Will Ferrell isn't the cinematic Anti-Christ. He just seems that way to some when taken in large doses. I think there's a lesson to be learned in all this. Too bad Hollywood isn't listening.

# End of Line


Dom said...

You suck, I hate you, please stfu and stop writing this bs.

If you ever ran a country the people would all be cannibals and eating each other within a month.


Anonymous said...

your a fucking idiot. will ferrell has to be one of the funniest actors ever. i bet if you did a movie, it would suck ass.