15 July, 2013

"Leviathan" was an OK movie aside from the last five minutes.

For real, 1989 saw a lot of underwater sci-fi / horror / thriller movies, but only one had Peter Weller, and that was Leviathan.
So, hey, just a quick heads up, I am going to discuss only the end of this movie, so if you don't want to know how the movie ends, leave now. Otherwise, you've had twenty four years to watch this thing, I don't want to hear any bitching because I tell you how it ends.
First of all, Leviathan is one of those rare sci-fi horror thrillers that move at a snail's pace, building tension the entire time with a few roller coaster moments when the monster - the believably explained monster that we catch only a few glimpses of - up and offs someone. Basically, it's pretty much how the critics back in the day put it: It's just like Alien... except it's underwater: Weyland-Yutani wanted the Xenomorph and consider the crew of the mining freighter Nostromo to be expendable. (That was Alien.) Tri-Oceanic wants the creature and considers the crew of the underwater mining facility Shack Seven expendable. (That's Leviathan.) So there's that.
Also, just as a quick aside, the amount of workplace sexual harassment depicted in that movie is kind of like "Wha? ... OK, I, uh, guess."
But then comes the last five minutes, that doesn't really ask you to suspend your sense of disbelief or get all wonky... Just joking, it totally does that. We finally have the big reveal for the monster, which looks like it would be more at home in the kind of 50s B-movie that got played at drive-in double features. It's basically a giant fish monster. The special effects crew did do a bang up job with the animatronics on the monster and the exterior or shell or skin or whatever you call it doesn't look all fakey like foam rubber but it's a giant fish monster and it looks as ridiculous it sounds.
In fact, it reminded me of these cheesy aliens I drew last summer...

I bet you're just fuckin' horrified right now, aint you?
So, anyway, with Ernie Hudson and Amanda Pays floating to the surface of the ocean, Peter Weller is still down in Shack Seven with the monster. Mind you, the monster has absorbed the memories of the other five crew members - seriously, that was part of the good part of the movie aka the first ninety three minutes - so it's cut off the air supply to Shack Seven meaning that Shack Seven is about to become depressurized and implode, so he's going to escape... You know, kind of exactly like how Sigourney Weaver had to escape from the Nostromo that was about to self-destruct with the Xenomorph on it? Yeah.
It's in the course of Peter Weller escaping that the monster's face gets caught in the elevator shaft and blood comically sprays all over the helmet of Peter Weller's scuba suit. Then Peter Weller just sraight up bounces out onto the ocean floor and watches as Shack Seven implodes and then begins his ascent to the surface.
Of course, since Ernie Hudson and Amanda Pays left Shack Seven for the surface whole damned minutes before Peter Weller did while Peter Weller made it a point of fucking with the monster that was only going to die in the implosion anyway, they all arrive at the surface at exactly the same time. And it's after all the drama, after all the intrigue and brooding speculative investigation, after all the jumps and starts, and after a halfway forgiveably laughable looking fish monster through the first hour and a half of the movie, that, for some dumb-assed reason, that the screenwriter decided to, you know, for no reason at all, bust out some sharks. The three survivors freak out moderately as the sharks, you know, don't actually attack and Ernie Hudson, I shit you not, says, "Talk about a bad day!"
What the fuck just happened? That's how we're handling this now? A cheese ball line like that after all of that beautiful suspense?
And then, motherfucking then the sharks just take off and the Coast Guard shows up to pick up the survivors when, of course, the creature comes out of the water, bigger and cheesier than ever and, because, I mean, he is the black guy and, come on, we know how this works, attacks Ernie Hudson.
Does Peter Weller go back to save Ernie Hudson? No, because everybody knows Ernie Hudson is dead at this point. No Peter Weller goes back to rip off one more movie: Specifically, the end of Jaws when Roy Scheider says, "Smile, you son of a bitch!" and then shoots the oxygen tank is Jaws's mouth. Yeah, except Peter Weller says, "Say 'ah', motherfucker!" and then throws a grenade or a depth charge or whatever kind of pull-and-throw explosive an underwater mining crew would have - and check the fuck out of this shit out - right into the creature's mouth. Which, you know, blows the monster up.
So then, back on the safety of Tri-Oceanic's offshore oil rig, Meg Foster - who is the evil head of Tri-Oceanic and wanted, like I told you earlier, the creature for R&D - comes up to Peter Well and Amanda Pays and gives them some bullshit line about how she was anxious to launch an emergency evacuation but nobody at the company would believe her and then asks Peter Weller how he's feeling, at which point Peter Weller just straight coldcocks her, you know, as they do in the movies where you can knock a person out with one punch, and says, "Much better," and then the movie just ends. You know, kind of like how he shot Ronny Cox out the window of OCP HQ at the end of Robocop and Dan O'Herlihy asks him his name and Peter Weller just says, "Murphy," and the movie just ends.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the score to the end of the movie is wrong wrong wrong. Like there's this big, peppy, soaring, jovial score, like a military marching band type of thing. Everywhere else in the movie, the soundtrack is completely appropriate. And here? Here it's just distracting, misplaced.
So, there you go. That's how Leviathan ends. udging from the ending alone, it's kind of hard to tell that it's actually a good movie.

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