REVIEW: Shutter Island
Oh god. Oh man. Oh god. Oh man. Jesus Christ, if there were any worse film to start with–god. Just, shoot me now, okay? Like, –christ, just no. Let me tell you right now, if ever there were a movie where I just wanted to go off with every swear I know and like a thousand I don’t, it would be this movie. UUNGH it’s just so hard to say how badly someone messed something up when you can’t emphasize your point properly! Anyway, putting on my big boy hat, I can say this much: Shutter Island is utter garbage.
Too harsh? Quit reading. It’s crap and I defy you to tell me any different. For god’s sake, Marty, when the hell are you making movies for? The 60s? What the hell is wrong with you? The average audience today is accustomed to a far superior kind of thriller. You know, the kind where my mother–a woman who was the age of your audience throughout the 70s and 80s–shouldn’t be able to guess the twist after a single line of dialogue. And before you say that I only disliked this movie because I called the twist at the trailer, Gillian, let me tell you. I disliked every moment of this stupid, condescending feature. I felt insulted by its overbearing score, I felt insulted by Leonardo DiCaprio’s amateur hour theatrics and I was definitely, most of all, without a doubt, disappointed at how much of an utter failure this movie was to elicit any emotion from me but cold, disconnected laughter.
Now you want me to tell you why exactly it’s so godawful? Hell, I’ll do you a favor and assume you don’t know what the twist is. I’m not even gonna spoil it for you. Here’s the deal, and this is what you get from the trailer. Leo is a federal marshal, sent to Shutter Island to investigate a disappearance there. Shutter Island is a mental institution on an island. Get it? Get the twist yet? A federal marshal, running around an island full’o-loonies. What’s the twist, readers. Come on, this is easier than The Sixth Sense! My god in heaven, what is this, Marty, the–the 1960’s? Am I supposed to be surprised at where this story goes, or are you gonna say you were aiming for a Truman Show effect in retrospect, playing with a certain sense of dramatic irony, where I know and you know and I know you know I know but nobody’s saying a god damn thing about it.
Well let me tell you what, Marty. You say that, and I’ll call it like it is, and what it is is a crock of–DAMMIT I HATE NOT SWEARING. I tolerated Leo’s hysterics in Inception and his tortured past Shatnerisms because that movie had the sense to at least be stunningly original in story and execution. What have you given me, Marty?! You’ve given me nothing! You have given me not a damn thing to work with in seeing your stupid, pointless and needless feature film! What possible use can making this movie serve, other than putting an indelible blotch on at least two, let’s bump it up to four spotless resumes? What possible purpose can a film as antiquated and simply outclassed as Shutter Island possibly serve in a culture where we’re even accustomed to more unpredictable remote island mysteries?! It’s not like we live in a time and place where And Then There Were None and Lost don’t already exist! Hell, And Then There Were None was written before your movie’s antiquated setting! So maybe next time you adapt a novel from acclaimed cinematic goldmine Dennis Lehane, check the cover to see if it’s something Clint Eastwood would be interested in. If it ain’t, I advise you drop it.
The performances suck. The score sucks. The cinematography is crisp and clear. You know what that means? It means I get to listen to bad music and watch bad acting with a crystal clear picture. If someone offered you a prime time viewing of high definition manure, I’m pretty sure you’d tell them to put that manure back where it came from. I will admit, the surreal dream-hallucination sequences (NOT A GOD DAMN SPOILER YOU KNOW THE TWIST ALREADY) were actually pretty chilling. Which is why it was so damned disappointing to watch you abandon those threads, again and again and again in favor of giving me more of what I’ve already seen and refused to believe: Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels. Hey, if the surreal sequences were so good, maybe Marty Scorsese should try doing the next David Lynch film! Cos god knows how much he sucks at doing MARTY SCORSESE MOVIES.
Holy christ in a handbasket was this a trying movie to sit through. And I had to watch Mark Ruffalo, Max von Sydow–BEN KINGSLEY! All good actors, all trying to pull this dreck from the waste waters whence it came. But it was no good. What came out of the waters was dead and there was nothing you could have done to fix it, Marty. Hell, I’d be happier if you’d’ve left this project on the cutting room floor. You wouldn’t have wasted Thelma Schoonmaker’s talented hand cutting a turd. Sorry if you thought this was a good project, Thelma–you’re sorely mistaken.
I suppose what’s got me absolutely incensed about this absolute quagmire of mediocrity is the fact that Shutter Island has the misfortune of being the first Martin Scorsese picture I’ve seen from beginning to end. I’ve attempted to watch Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Casino… I don’t know how many times. Lord knows you will never get me to watch The Departed after this junk. Maybe I should pick up a copy of Scorsese by Ebert–listen to a man I trust tell me why this Marty Scorsese guy is such a good filmmaker after all. Cos god damn it all to hell, Shutter Island has convinced me of the exact opposite. ONE STAR (and you’re lucky to get that!)