26 August 2012

Film: [Rec] ² (2009)

Thoughts: Considering that [Rec] ² concerns a group of SWAT officers entering the apartment building that was so horribly swarmed with "infected" in the first instalment, you would think it'd be easy to make something interesting, frightening and full of great kill-shots. Sadly, the film lolls about, jumping from point to point, introducing characters we could care less about, telegraphing its punches way too early and adding to the mythos in a rather uninteresting way. I was hoping it would provide that 4th quarter slam like the previous film, and knock my dissatisfaction into full-blown respect, but unfortunately that's just not the case.

Viewers should really watch the first flick, or at least the American remake Quarantine before sitting down to this, but I can provide a brief synopsis. An outbreak of something strange and vicious led a Spanish apartment building to be locked down by the government, and as far as we know, there were no survivors. A SWAT team is dispatched to assist and protect a CDC agent who's looking to discover and neutralize the source of the outbreak. Immediately upon entry it is uncovered that the agent is not who he appears to be, and that whatever happened is not necessarily over. What follows is a rush to discover the blood of the original host of the virus, because apparently it'll stop something from something else, and there's also a group of annoying kids who manage to get into the building, and a fireman, and a disillusioned father trying to get his wife and child medicine.

Basically, the film is just not very interesting. The characters are either cut in one dimension, or just so useless they don't even need a dimension added. The gimmick of handheld film discovered after the fact is stretched past breaking point here, just like in George Romero's terrible Diary Of The Dead. So much footage is caught on camera, and so much is taken by people just standing there as shit goes down, that it just gets beyond a joke. And it's always tethered to some really specious reasoning, like the kid wanting to get footage of firecrackers, or the SWAT member needing to "document everything". Yes, I get it's your job. But when your SWAT mate is currently grappling with an infected, and you are the only other person with a weapon, you'd think that perhaps taking a mother fucker down is priority. Shock horror, if you're alive, you can pick up the camera and keep filming later! If you're dead, you can't! And here I was thinking it was just that simple.

Plus kills, attacks and moments are all so transparent. People die when they're supposed to, get bit when they're supposed to, jump when they're supposed to, find a weapon when they're supposed to etc etc etc. And the infected are so poorly handled it gets really irritating trying to make the rules of the world work. You can shoot them! But it doesn't do anything. But it does! Now it doesn't. But they can take out a SWAT with their bare hands after taking 2 full shottie blasts! But a single man can hold one while they communicate with it. But they're crazy, uncontrollable rage beasts! But they can stop, think and create a decoy to lure an unsuspecting victim. It's just plain annoying, really. And the SWAT of all people seem to make the most stupid mistakes. It's like the entire film is spent with them slowly coming to the realization that they're UNDER ATTACK. Stupid gits. Oh, and if memory serves, I'm pretty sure the 2nd story of the kids is completely useless. Let me think... Yep, it was. Their entire entire 30min side-story was so that the main people can be told to go upstairs to where they started, and turn off the lights. Uh-huh.

I guess you could blame all of the above on the script though. And WHAT a script! Just nonsense and screaming and exposition, that's it. A great drinking game would be:

1: If someone tells someone else to calm down or shut up, take a shot.
2: If someone says they just wanna leave, take a shot.
3: And if someone responds to the last with a variation of you can't, take 2!

Yeah, you won't last long.

I'll bite; the film does have some fairly heart-pumping moments. The extended quiet during the entry sequence is atmospheric enough, and some of the filters and things that happen with the camera is kinda cool, but those moments are still plagued with that same transparency, and the persistent knowledge that the current dumb fuck is STILL HOLDING A FUCKING CAMERA.

I hear the 3rd film is really good, so I class this as a necessary evil. Doesn't matter, I don't need to watch it again!


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