Friday, September 10, 2010

Movie review: "The Stand"

"The Stand" is one more "blast from the past" (1994, to be precise). Or so I thought before I started watching it. It is not actually a movie; it is a four-part miniseries (every part is about 1.5 hours long). I remember watching this series when I was a kid 10-15 years old and I remember enjoying it. I also remember watching only first two parts... Which makes the crucial difference.

Because the show sucks after second episode. Third part is only moderately good compared to first two parts, but last episode, and especially the ending, is really bad. Well, if I think about it objectively, it's not so bad, but when you consider the potential first two parts have, this is very bad.

Anyway, "The Standstarts with the end of the world. Some kind of super-flu is accidentally released from US secret laboratory and it kills most of people on the world. It's not explicitly said, but I got an impression that there were only few thousand people left in America. During the chaos resulting from the virus, while fighting for survival, some of the unaffected people have dreams of an old woman, preaching about God and warning them to be careful of the "dark man" (or some other similar name, I'm not sure). After some time, people will divide in two camps: the good ones, joined around mother Abigail (the old woman) and the bad ones, led by Flagg (the dark man).

As I said, first two parts are great. The fear, the struggle, the confusion... Everything is represented superbly. Tension is present all the time. But, even during the second episode, you start wondering "When the action will start?". And the answer in "Never!!!". Show fails to develop this tension to some kind of plot. Instead, you get the characters wondering around all the time.

Second flaw is the characters: they are totally predictable and one-dimensional. Good guys are made halfway believable (thought, they are likable), but when you see the bad guys, you can't help wondering "Are you guys total idiots?!?!". And the main villain... Looks like somebody didn't read the Evil Overlord List...

Third flaw are special effects. If you can't do them decently, don't do them. Show does the same mistake as "Close Encounters of the Third Kind": it shows what should not be showed. There it was the aliens, and here is the main villain's true face. And when you see it, it ruins what's left of the movie.

Also, I didn't like the feel of religious fanaticism the show promotes. I remember Stephen King always being close to religion in his writing (e.g. the kid in "Desperation") but the end of this show is a bit too much.

So, in conclusion, it's not a show I can recommend to anybody. It had a nice potential, but it failed to deliver.

No comments:

Post a Comment