Dave White
Red Lights Review

Dave's Rating:



If you're extremely old like me you probably remember a guy named Uri Geller. He was a TV psychic in the '70s who'd go on talk shows and bend spoons with his mind. This was very impressive to everyone and it was all the evidence that audiences of gullible people needed to believe in him as a super-psychic. He was so popular that in an issue of the comic book Daredevil, Geller was a featured guest star. He had to help the blind superhero battle a villain named Mind-Wave ("and his fearsome THINK TANK!"). The man was extremely famous. According to his Wikipedia page Michael Jackson was best man at a vow-renewal ceremony between Geller and his wife, he drives around in a 1976 Cadillac covered in bent spoons and he bought an island off the coast of Scotland where he buried a magic orb that once belonged to Albert Einstein. The orb apparently strengthened the land's already mystical powers thanks to Geller's generosity. This guy is a bad-ass of... I don't know, something.

So here's this movie, which is also a bad-ass of something. Robert De Niro plays a guy who's blind like Daredevil and a spoon-bender like Geller. But Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy, annoying university researchers full of science facts and tactics designed to catch fakeout psychics, want to ruin De Niro's life. They pursue him relentlessly as he makes a big media comeback after years of hiding away from the public's insatiable need for spoon-bending. It becomes a huge story. In fact, it's the only story any TV reporter or newspaper deems fit to cover. Battalions of cameras and journalists hound De Niro in a feeding frenzy of spoon-bend-mania. They breathlessly announce his upcoming public appearances and speculate on the massive ticket sales he'll inspire, not to mention the lives he'll change with his other powers: mind-surgery and digital ghost photography. The people of the film's unnamed metropolis need a savior so badly that when he appears they treat him as though he rode out of Loch Ness on the back of the Monster before announcing his true identity as Santa Claus crossed with the reincarnation of Princess Di.

Meanwhile, over at the university where scientific research is underfunded but paranormal research is rolling in grants, Weaver and Murphy are caught up in the consequences of chasing a man who may very well be ALL-POWERFUL. Spooky stuff goes down. Deaths occur. Mysterious mysteries unfurl. A booming musical score of extremely thrilling loudness blasts you in the ears. Birds commit suicide. Weaver's son is in a coma for no reason and you think he might figure into the action somehow, eventually, but no, he never does. Some guy fights Cillian Murphy in a men's room and they break toilets with each other's skulls and Murphy has disturbing Inception-dreams that might be De Niro's doing. Then comes a last-minute twist and -- OH NO! MAYBE HIS CHARACTER DOESN'T HAVE DREAMS AT ALL! MAYBE THERE'S NO TWIST! MAYBE THE FILM ITSELF IS A PSYCHIC AND WAS MERELY PSYCHIC-ING ME, MENTALISTICALLY SPOON-BENDING MY MIND AS BURNING REVENGE ON ALL CRITICS!

If that's the case then I guess I have to watch it again, a task I willingly take on because this whole thing is a monumental triumph of stupid. And I'm glad. Thank you, movie.


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