Dreamcatcher – Review


with Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee
Directed by Lawrence Kasdan
Written by Stephen King, William Goldman
(Warner Bros.)
by Chad Van Wagner

This is turning out to be one negative month… With a small handful of exceptions, there just ain’t much out there worth grabbing, and nothing is less grabbable than the particular bit of cinematic doodling known as Dreamcatcher.

The buzz on this thing, just before its cinematic release, was not good. Phrases like “the Showgirls of sci-fi” were being tossed around, and not just because it was a snappy line. There’s a similar “my God, are they serious?” feel to much of this thing, whether it’s a group of middle-aged men saying “bite my bag” (doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?) or Marky Mark playing a retarded guy.

Well now, it doesn’t have to be good to be a good time, does it? And I must admit, that watching this with a group of smart-asses would most likely make for a damned amusing evening. But unless you’ve got a group of buddies to sit and jeer at this thing with, stay far, far away. Every element is either hackneyed (best friends meeting up for the first time in a while), saddled with gut-wrenchingly bad acting (a kid who supposedly has Down Syndrome conveys this by carefully dropping the consonants from his speech), or just plain stupid (take your pick). Character points are hinted at, then completely ignored. People die more of stupidity than anything the monsters do. Nobody really seems too involved, beyond a general sense of “I’d really rather not get killed right now.” And the ending…

Trust me, you don’t care. If nothing else, Dreamcatcher reminds us that the sheep-like masses aren’t always wrong: This bombed in its theatrical release (its placement in the weekly charts had more to do with a lack of competition than with the quality of the film. It was a huge financial disappointment). Thing is, this was a bad, bad idea from the word go. NOTHING works in this film. How does this stuff get made? I don’t know, but I can at least warn off the unsuspecting consumer. Yikes.