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Seems like the trend in thinking man's horror films is continuing,
again in the hands of auteur-of-the-moment M. Night Shyamalam, who directed
last summer's surprise hit The Sixth Sense. His latest film, The Seventh
Sense, continues the adventures of undead Bruce Willis, who has returned
from the grave in superhero form, his secret identity being Security Guard
Man and his superpower being that he's extremely difficult to bruise.
Alongside Willis is his trusty sidekick Mr. Glass, played by Samuel L.
Jackson, who has the innate ability to destroy his enemies using his
ridiculous hair, and Willis' son Billy, whose superpower consists of looking
kind of like Haley Joel Osment except with black, soulless eyes. Together
they battle the forces of evil, including shoplifting, ticket scalping, and
inclement weather, all with a completely humorless gravity straight from a
bad episode of Dark Angel. Shyamalanayan has taken his inspiration from the
literary medium of comic books, which is sort of like being inspired by the
back of a cereal box, but that's fine by me. The only problem is that he
treats his material with an ultra-serious reverence that borders on
pretension and falls into a well-known trap, which is that making a serious
comic book movie is kinda like making a funny Wayans Brothers movie, in that
you're intrinsically doomed to failure by the fact that you're stupid enough
to think it's a good idea. The parallels to the comic book form found in the
movie are endless, from the protagonist's alliterative name to the structure
of the narrative to the fact that it's way too damn expensive to be worth my
time. However, aside from the fact that the premise of a real-life Superman
is shakier than a Montreal hobo seizing off yesterday's Listerine,
Shyalayamalanyamala still manages to make an engrossing picture that will
keep you interested until the very end, which, a la Sixth Sense, is
guaranteed to surprise you, provided of course you're deaf, blind, and were
watching a different movie.