EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
A review from Jessi
I can’t even begin to tell you how intrigued I was by the trailers for Eye of the Beholder. So much so that I dragged my husband there on OPENING NIGHT. I was impressed by the list of stars, I liked the idea of a female serial killer (it’s that woman villain thing I’m always working towards), and finally, FINALLY, a break for Jason Priestly, who, I feel, doesn’t deserve to be labeled as Brandon Walsh for all eternity.
Imagine my sadness then, when I slowly discovered that this is EASILY the worst movie I’ve seen since Strange Days. (I didn’t see Supernova, though, so I can’t really say with CONVICTION that it IS the worst movie since Strange Days). I gave it a chance, I sat through the conversations with K.D. Lang (who is a damn good singer and lesbian, but not really a pantheon of acting), I accepted the ghost-of-a-little-girl
convention without protest, I accepted that there must be SOME need for a camera that looks like a sniper rifle, I mean it certainly IS inconspicuous…I even let them get away with the ever present "computer
programs that will never exist on computers we have never seen".
There’s no doubt, Eye of the Beholder is visually stimulating. The director had fabulous ideas for how this movie should look. Great scene transitions and dissolves, we travel through walls, through time, through glass and thought. It has a sort of depressed timelessness, with bullet trains and techno music, raccoon coats and snow globes…there’s a lot of fabulous things to capture the eye. And the running "eye" theme is certainly interesting. The score to this movie is also good, but that’s where the compliments must stop.
Folks, it’s never a good sign when the dramatic climax of the movie you’ve created….the heart-wrenching ending scene, brings PEALS AND PEALS of laughter from the audience. We were laughing out loud at the idiocy, and that’s because WE COULDN’T HAVE CARED LESS. These characters were the shallowest, most unsympathetic group of people I’ve ever encountered. Ewan McGregor’s* character obviously had some issues, but we only learned this through blatant exposition in two scenes. Jason Priestly, whom I had to wait a good hour and a half to even SEE, wasn’t so much a character as a cartoon "evil man" who terrorizes Ashley Judd, and when I say terrorize, brother I mean it…unfortunately, we were all cheering for him. I asked several people after all what the point of his character was, and what his motivation was for his sudden burst of rage, but no one was able to help.
And then there’s Ashley. Gorgeous, lithe, Ashley Judd, to whom I harbor no hatred, no particular preconceived notions, I wanted her to be good. She’s a talented, beautiful woman. I wanted her "villain" character to be the greatest ever…but it wasn’t. The female serial killer I longed for found it necessary to kill people in lingerie, and was a serial killer because she hated men and was seeking a father figure. She wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, and the reason she got away with several grisly murders was explained by the use of four bad wigs. If only it were that easy. We also, once again, see Ashley naked, which I know is wonderful, boys, but it SERVES NO PURPOSE. HO HUM. HO HUM.
In short this movie’s plot is undetectable, the characters are half dimensional, and at the end, I saw six separate people throw up their hands and say, "what?"
I’m sorry that I took my husband and two friends to this movie instead of going to see Three Kings at the dollar theater. I’m apologizing for that here, in this public forum.
Eye Of The Beholder gets: a D-
*Note To Ewan: I, Jessi of the APP, am hereby issuing the offer to give you 15% of my salary for the rest of my life if you will do me this one favor…GET YOURSELF A DECENT HAIRCUT, JUST ONCE.
© 1999 Absurd Pamphlet Press