Thursday, November 4, 2010
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Directed By: Ronny Yu (Bride of Chucky)
So finally we reach the end of the original Friday the 13th series. Also, in doing so, we reach the end of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street series as well. 2003 gave us a many things. Seven astronauts lost their lives as the space shuttle Columbia made its return trip to Earth, Americans said goodbye to a beloved neighbor, Mr.Rogers, SARS was killing people, wildfires hit Southern California, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the SuperBowl, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King made the most money at the box office, and Freddy finally did battle with Jason in a film YEARS in the making. The horror world's equivalent to Flair vs. Hogan and Jordon vs. James, Freddy vs. Jason was something everyone wanted to see, but we for a time never thought we'd see it. After all, the tease of it started at the end of Jason Goes To Hell, and it took a full 10 years later before it actually went down. So was it worth the long wait?...Sorta.
So a long time has passed since Freddy was able to haunt the kids on Elm Street's dreams. Parents had slipped drugs to their kids in order to keep them from dreaming and any kid with the memory of Freddy was taken away to the crazy house. So without fear, Freddy is left pretty powerless. So he comes up with a plan to use someone else to put the fear back in Elm Street and regain power, and he finds that person in, Jason Vorhees. The only trouble is, Jason doesn't know when to stop and doesn't take orders very well. So in the end we have the two horror icons facing off in a battle that starts on Elm Street and ends up on Crystal Lake with some lackluster kids tossed in the middle.
So you have Freddy and you have Jason all in the same film, and it's a pretty awesome, yet surreal sight to see. However, once that wears off, you're left with a film that in a lot of ways lacks a lot of things and does a few things badly. Like let's take our lead Lori. Lori, is played by a very hot actress named, Monica Keena. Monica, is hit and miss with more miss than hit. For such a important film you'd expect better actors, and the hit or miss statement could be used with pretty much everyone here. From the OK at times, Jason Ritter, playing, Will, to the horrible R & B star, Kelly Rowland, playing, Kia. Toss in some useless characters here and there, and add in a Jay from Jay and Silent Bob wanna-be and you have the cast that is very underwhelming.
But I'll give poor ol' Robert Englund all the credit in the world, he seems as happy as a kid in a candy store playing, Freddy. I think he, at times, seems to be the only person who is treating this film as a big deal, and he's your typical, more funny one-liner, Freddy. And I admit, a lot of what he says during the film is funny. And he also looks pretty creepy as Freddy this time around, even more so than usual. I also may be the only person in the world who didn't mind seeing, Ken Kirzinger, as Jason here, but he works for me. I never was THAT big of a Hodder fan anyway. And Jason does just find and dandy here and if everything else is going to hell in the film, these two are tops for sure!
That being said, there are a lot of things to not like about this film outside the bad acting. I HATE HATE HATE CGI, and I double hate the CGI I see in this film. When during one dream sequence someone loses a nose, it's horrible looking, and not horrible in the good way. It's almost cartoon like to me. I also don't get half as much enjoyment as you might think during some of the fight scenes when Jason is taking on Freddy and they get all Kung-Fu movie style on us. There fighting has some great parts, but in the same sense, it has some awful ones as well. Another thing that bugs me is it seems more like a Freddy movie that Jason just so happens to be in, than a mix of the two. I know New Line might want to play favorites but it never really seems like Friday the 13th during the movie at all. Also, why does Jason all the sudden have a fear of water? Didn't he pretty much find a way to swim from Crystal Lake to a boat heading out to sea a few movies back??
So when all is said and done with Freddy vs. Jason, it's hard to really gather a clear winner, but when you don't have a body anymore I'd like to think you lost. And while the plot is a little give or take with some people out there, I think it may be the best they could have came up with. When Freddy and Jason are on screen together it's pretty awesome 90% of the time, but when the other actors are alone keeping things rolling, the wheels seems to fall off the bus. As a result, I can't rate it very high, but I'll admit at the time when it came out I wanted to see this movie more than any other movie I had ever wanted to see before.
Too much sketchy acting, too much CGI, but OK when you take all that into account for what makes up this film as a whole. I do hope one day we see these two at it again, but with remakes and stalled sequels to those remakes I get a bad feeling that if we ever do see a part 2, it'll be WAAAAY down the line, and might not even have Robert Englund, and what fun would that be? Still, nice try..could have been a lot worse.
The Rating (6.5/10)