It has happened to all of us. We find ourselves, for whatever reason, watching a film that we know deep down is killing a piece of our soul.
Tonight I saw Wanted. I'm glad I didn't pay to do so. What a wasteful, dumb, painful and hateful film. There was only one sequence that I found to be visually worthwhile (let's just say a train is involved). James McAvoy's impression of an angry American loser is frightening in its almost limitless contempt for people, both of his type and just about everyone else. It's a film that more or less despises humanity. Jean Renoir is no doubt grimacing from above.
Of course, I would be more forgiving if it were at least even vaguely subtle about its hatred for humanity. It's not, and it wants to pound the banal idea into your head with all of the delicacy of a sledgehammer being driven into the ground.
Morgan Freeman is wasted, something he must apparently get a kind of thrill out of being these days, going through the dull, heartless and almost completely robotic motions of collecting another massive paycheck. The action is so over-the-top, absurd and uninvolving that it invites watch-checking more than eye-widening. A terrible theme song is utilized so many times I wondered if it wasn't some kind of sanity control test created by the Bush administration to see how much certain segments of the public can withstand. It's a ripoff of The Matrix with an unhealthy dash of Fight Club. The concluding "movement" is absolutely ridiculous. There's just about zero character development sans McAvoy's loser rambling incessantly about how much of a loser he is. Yeah, you're a fucking loser, we get the fucking point! This movie is a fucking waste of celluloid!
Which films do you remember seeing that had this affect on you? Films you knew, as you viewed them, were stealing a part of your spirit, crushing it with idiocy or smugness? Films that were relentless in testing your patience, or inflicting so much damage on your sense of being that you found them utterly devoid of anything remotely commendable? Movies that were downright cruel?
I think it would be one thing if Wanted were just dumb or just hateful of all humanity, but being both somehow crossed the line. Doubtless your lines have been crossed by Hollywood (or other nations' cinema). Please comfort me with stories of your own misery.