The Shape of Water (2017)
Rated P for preposterous
Two parts “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” one part “E.T.,” this B movie makes us nostalgic for the snarky series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Tom Servo’s gang would pick it cleaner than a boardinghouse turkey.
And what a turkey it is. An alien lizard-man gets hauled in during a deep-sea fishing trip…or something like that…we fell asleep at various points during the screening. The bad guys hold him captive in a wading pool. Only the humble deaf-mute cleaning woman sees past his scales to his inherent dignity. So she brings him hard-boiled eggs every day. Ah-yup.
Luckily, Lizard Man’s warehouse prison is patrolled by just one inept guard, a la “Austin Powers.” The cleaning woman & friends help him escape and find him a job at Sea World.
The only reason this piece of dreck won an Academy Award: two of its characters are hooked on classic black and white films. Hollywood types adore movies within movies, like chimps staring at their own reflection in a mirror.
And what exactly is “the shape of water”? We’re never told, but the plot is leaky and the premise is all wet. Somebody oughta mop it up.
Rated D for Dumb. Parental guidance: drug use, sunburned children, remarkably boring nudity
Four absurd storylines. You be the judge of which is most contrived.
(1) An American couple try to revive their floundering marriage by taking a motorcoach trip with other privileged white tourists through some godforsaken Middle Eastern desert.
(2) A young goat herder with a high-powered rifle takes a pot-shot at the bus, unintentionally striking the woman – an amazing feat of marksmanship, since she’s sitting on the far side of the bus.
(3) The couple’s nanny takes their kids to a family wedding in Mexico, where things go from good to not-so-good to bad to worse to oh my gawd those kids are gonna die.
(4) A rebellious deaf Japanese teen acts out her angst by removing her underpants and kissing a dentist, then taking off all her clothes to seduce a police detective.
And the Wasted Talent trophy goes to:
The American wife played by Cate Blanchett, who bleeds a lot and pees in a makeshift bedpan.
I hope you weren't expecting anything profound.
If I ever need to plead insanity, this blog will provide valuable evidence.
Copyright (c) 2022 by Leah Carson, d/b/a Excellent Words, LLC