Monday, June 23, 2014

Ladies & Gentlemen, The Face Blindness Movie

Faces In the Crowd required the work of four separate film studios.

Four separate studios who each have their own elaborately graphic designed logo.

Naturally, I expect greatness.

Quick Plot: Anna is your typical impossibly beautiful kindergarten teacher living with her handsome but dull boyfriend Bryce. After a regular girls' night out with a BFF that includes Lori Grimes (aka Sarah Wayne Callies, showing she can be way more fun than grating) sporting spectacularly weird red hair, Anna witnesses popular serial killer Tearjerk Jack (yes, it's a dumb name but that's just the beginning) finishing off his latest victim near a completely empty bridge. Just as she catches a glimpse of his mug, Anna tumbles off said empty bridge only to awaken in a hospital with face blindness.

There's some much longer medical term for it, but let's face it: this is the face blindness movie, just as Jack was the aging disease movie and Shame was the sex addiction movie.

We keep things real simple around here.

Face blindness, in case you didn't know, is an extremely rare condition in which the sufferer cannot remember faces once the people wearing them leave his or her sight of vision. This is exceptionally sad if you're Milla Jovovich and you cannot see just how impossibly beautiful a kindergarten teacher you are.

Also, it's incredibly inconvenient if you're a kindergarten teacher and can't tell your students apart.

It's even more inconvenient if you're the only witness to a brutal crime committed by a man man who just keeps a'killin'.

Enter the police force, represented here by two men because that's all police forces in big cities that might be New York if New York had a yellow 4 subway line and a dangerous amount of rollerbladers generally need. Detective Sam is played by Julian McMahon with a vital goatee and even more vital inconsistent not-British accent. The only other person of note in the entire police department is a psychologist who keeps appearing at chance moments and is, you know, totally not supposed to be the only character you suspect of actually being the real killer.


Did I mention that, for really no reason, there are A LOT of rollerbladers in this film?

Written and directed by Julien Magnat, Faces In the Crowd is supremely entertaining. As proven by her enthusiasm in the Resident Evil canon, Milla Jovovich is always the actress you should cast when you need some magnetism in a lousy script. She seems to be both trying to give a genuine performance but also conveying the understanding that yes, this is indeed a dreadful script. 

Lessons Learned
Contrary to popular opinion, no, it does not get tiring being a slut

Faces are the barcode of the human race

Everyone knows everyone on Koel Island

Never wait for backup in Not-New York City, unless you have at least a half hour to ward off a killer and die of a gunshot wound

Kindergarten teachers in Not-New York City prefer to use professional headshots for their Facebook profile pictures

The Winning Line
SPOILERs follow, so beware:

"I love you!"
"No, you don't. You'll find someone else." (cough cough, die)
Most passive aggressive final words ever? Even if they ARE delivered by a man who just made himself a makeshift goatee out of blood to break through his sorta girlfriend's face blindness (I'm so not kidding), that conversation is hilarious

Whew boy. Faces In the Crowd is not incompetent as a film. Jovovovich takes things seriously while still demonstrating a sense of humor in her performance, and the sleek urban (but seriously, not) landscape looks good on camera. Of course, it's everything from the adorably PG-rated hobo (they even call him a hobo!) to the soft focus sex scene that makes Faces In the Crowd such an unintentionally entertaining film. The script seems to be written by a middle school student who just finished reading her first mystery novel, and folks, that's not necessarily a bad thing. 

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