Willard

You may have a strong opinion one way or another regarding WILLARD... or remakes... or remakes of WILLARD... but you really need to go enjoy Crispin Glover's wackjob performance. Let's just say that the rats aren't the only ones who chew the scenery--but that's not a bad thing at all in a film like this. And when he has R. Lee Ermey to play off, who could possibly complain? 

A little background here... I saw the original WILLARD on the CBS Late Movie when I was--well, quite a bit younger. I took it seriously--I thought the damned thing worked quite well... and it wasn't until years later that I found out that people actually regarded it as a camp classic. 

And on review... is it EVER. But the people behind this remake thankfully recognized everything that people responded to and did NOT make the mistake of saying "Okay, we're going to remake it... but THIS time it's going to be taken SERIOUSLY!" 

Big Ben alarm clocks, anyone? How 'bout a can of snack food labelled "Numm Nuts?" Not one, but two appearances of the "Ben"song? (Willard's relationship with Ben, by the way, is one of the major changes here, though most of it's pretty faithful to the original.) 

It's not ALL goofball, though. The college-age audience I saw the original WILLARD with laughed throughout and talked back at the screen--but they gasped and went silent when confronted with drops of red blood on white rat fur (you remember the bit). It has exactly the same effect here... and yes, the movie ultimately brings a sickie-queasy effect about by the time it's all over. 

On a side note, though it's pointless and stupid to go in to a film like this and complain about images of simulated animal abuse, I find it interesting how so many films suggest that it's shocking when it happens to a person, but it's a barrel of laughs when it happens to a cat (remember EIGHT-LEGGED FREAKS?)--perhaps it's fashionable to hate cats, but I keep both rats AND cats as pets and don't enjoy seeing either one suffer. I'm not up in arms over the "cat" scene in WILLARD--my trouble, however, is that I also caught MEN BEHIND THE SUN and got to see a real cat chewed to pieces by real rats for my edification. So by comparison, the WILLARD scene was ridiculously mild, but it still somehow failed to bring a smile to my face. 

That's okay--leave the smiling to Crispin Glover. You haven't seen horror-character acting like this on the big screen in a long time. And by the way, don't worry about the computer effects, either--they're virtually flawless. 

FD2 it ain't--FD2 it ain't meant to be. Go have fun.

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