Friday, September 23, 2011

Fantastic Fest 2011 Movie Review- THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II: FULL SEQUENCE- He said/She said

Director:  Tom Six
Writer: Tom Six
Starring: Laurence R. Harvey, Ashlynne Yennie, and Dominic Borrelli
Synopsis: Martin is a mentally disturbed man who tries to escape his lonely existence and becomes obsessed with the cult film, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE: FIRST SEQUENCE, which inspires him to recreate the film.

Jonesy: Overall impression is that Tom Six, the director, didn't learn much from the first movie.  Just like the first movie, the first half of part 2 is boring and slow.  Then, unlike the first installment, he just seemed to say "screw it" and went insane, and it did not work.

Javi:  I agree. I think that @leiabox on the twitters said it best when she stated that what worked for the first movie was what you did not see.  However, this one shows everything for the worse. It's one of those movies where it almost feels like it wasn't from the same director. The first installment felt more restrained. I appreciate the other movie a lot of more in comparison which unfortunately is not saying much. If Michael Bay would have done HUMAN CENTIPEDE, this movie would have been it.

Jonesy: The first one let a lot of things to the imagination, and this was too much of, excuse the cliched phrase, "torture porn".  When I initially heard the idea of the sequel, about a random guy becoming obsessed with the first movie, I thought that was a really clever spin for a sequel because there was almost no coherent way they could have gone anywhere with the way that first movie ended.  However, the execution for part two did not work at all.

Javi: For me, the only way that this movie works on any scale is if you somehow think of it as a commentary on fanboys and fandoms.  Let's preface this...the main character Martin lives with his mom, is overweight, has no social skills, and bug-eyed.  And while I don't like to subscribe to the BIG BANG THEORY school of stereotyped nerds, but there's lots of nerds that can be and are similar to Martin.  So in a way, like A SERBIAN FILM was a supposed allegory about the Serbian government screwing its people, Tom Six could say that, "Hey, this is poking fun at you nerds for taking your shit way too seriously, and not being a well-adjusted member of society." If he tried to say that I could get behind the film, maybe.  But then you could also get into a lot of bullshit-symbolism if you really wanted to.  Did you like the story?

Jonesy: Again, I liked the premise, but delving into the story itself, I think there were too many cliches with his past.  Another big complaint was the timeline of the plot. You start to notice when Martin does his terrible things, and the timing of the kidnappings with when he goes home and sleeps, and it becomes disjointed and ridiculous.  It completely takes you out of the movie.

Javi: I was so bored by the film that the timeline was the last thing on my mind.  The movie was so bad in the sense that it had too much buildup and horrible pay off.  I will never be mad at a movie for trying to be shocking, so the violence didn't bother me as much as it did some people.  I just didn't find that the violence had a purpose.  With horror movies, I feel you have to care about the characters that are being killed or harmed in order for the violence to be effective.  In this movie, I don't know who these people are, and most of them don't have names.

Jonesy:  The victims are just put together so quickly you never get a chance to know them.  Some seem awful people, and some seem to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, but in the end, you don't care.  At least with the first move, they sort of tried to establish  some character development for the centipede.  But for this one all you know was, hey, there's that chick, or the neighbor, or some jerk.

Javi: They're not even archetypes; they're just there.

Jonesy: In terms of the violence, I wasn't offended, they just seemed unnecessary.  It seemed like there was a particularly specific scene that Tom Six just made long enough to be uncomfortable, but there was no point to it.  There was nothing added to the story by it. You could have the scene be 30 seconds and still have an impact.

Javi: My big deal is I just don't understand what we got  in terms of a conventional story. It's a remake of the original, much like THE HANGOVER II, except with a lot more references to the first one. I couldn't take the movie seriously because of how many times there were references to the original.  If you're going for a "meta" story, you can't be winking at the camera as often as this movie did.  It was obnoxious, unnecessary, and it took me out of the movie a lot of the time.

Jonesy: I did love that the main character Martin did not talk at all during the movie.  Everything that he did was through his expressions and his eyes, which is very hard to do.  I think Tom Six knew a big part of the success of the original movie was the performance of Dieter Laser because he was such a powerful character, which is why I probably liked the movie more than I should.  How do you top that? You can't, so you go in the opposite direction and make a character that doesn't talk.  And it totally works...but that is the only character choice I enjoyed.

Javi: I remember listening to either The Criterion Cast or The Golden Briefcase, where they were saying that this movie was done as a challenge to all of the detractors of the first movie that thought it was too tame.  But it has to be more than that.  I really did not like this movie at all.  (side note: as we are doing this, we are having an Apology Beer, because it was Jonesy's idea to watch this movie).  In regards to Martin, I didn't like the character which is how I'm supposed to feel, so I guess he's a well written character.  But he was just so nasty to look at. I was like mother-effer lose some weight. My final thought... I hated this movie; don't buy it; don't go see it; it's beyond moronic. The way things are going Tom Six is going to get to levels of badness rivaling Tommy Wiseau. At least Tommy Wiseau had the intelligence to know when to stop.

Jonesy: What you need to do, if you're just that curious, is go read the Wikipedia page about the story, but don't give money to this movie because if you do, it will encourage Tom Six to do another part 3, which we don't need. 

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