Book adaptations, love them or hate them, you can’t get rid of them. Some authors are not only prolific with their writing, but prolific, I guess, when it comes to their work being translated into film. Some adaptations are really good, others just okay, and some are flat out bad.
The Warner Bros. film “Dreamcatcher” sadly falls into a less than favorable category. It could just be me, but this was either a mistake to make, or done poorly.
This science fiction horror film stars Damien Lewis (“Romeo & Juliet (2013)”, “Homeland”), Thomas Jane (upcoming “White Bird in a Blizzard”, “Pawn Shop Chronicles”), Jason Lee (“Behaving Badly”, “Raising Hope”), Timothy Olyphant (upcoming “This Is Where I Leave You”, “Justified”), Donnie Wahlberg (“Blue Bloods”, “Zookeeper”), Tom Sizemore (” Murder 101″, “The Red Road”), and Morgan Freeman (“Dolphin Tale 2”, “Lucy”).
The film was directed by Lawrence Kasdan (“Darling Companion”, “Mumford”) and written by William Goldman (“Hearts in Atlantis”, “The General’s Daughter”) and Kasdan (“Darling Companion”, “Mumford”). It is based on the book of the same name by Stephen King.
The film originally opened on March 21, 2003.
Now, admittedly King adaptations have been good, both years ago and now. Some have aged quite well too. Others, of course, haven’t managed either. But, the fortunate side is that some of those manage to still be entertaining and fun, and you’re able to forget how boring and bad that particular one may be.
This film, however, is not that film. I like the majority of these actors, especially since this film came out, they’ve done some spectacular work. Now, it’s not because they suddenly got better at their job, because they were pretty talented in this film. It’s the material they had to work with. The story was just silly and the pacing was slow. Even Freeman couldn’t save this film from lackluster characters, and a ridiculous plot. The plot for “Outbreak” makes a hell of a lot more sense, and is by far more interesting.
Aliens are fun. Parasitic aliens, even more so. It helps that these ones, the parasite looking creatures, were actually designed pretty well and looked more realistic than the other aliens featured. Perhaps the filmmakers used actual animatronic props and that’s what contributed to this. Whatever it was, it sold that small portion of the film, only to later yank me out when the bigger aliens showed up, knocking on doors. The aliens from “Men in Black” didn’t even look this unintentionally silly.
Even with aliens running around and supposed terror everywhere, I couldn’t help but laugh and roll my eyes. Most of it was just funny because of the terrible nature of the entire film. Nothing scared me or even frightened me, and that’s forgetting that this film was even supposed to build some kind of tension along the way too. None of that was there.
I’m shocked! When looking into who wrote this film, as a reason for why this film sucked so much, I learned that Goldman could’ve written this and it would’ve been so much better! Or so the thinking goes. He wrote “Misery”, “The Princess Bride”, “The Ghost and the Darkness”, and “All the President’s Men” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, for which he won Oscars for each film! What?! How did this film not get a better story? Was it the source material itself? Maybe. I blame Kasdan, as he did write “The Bodyguard” and that was just awful, despite it’s “classic” status.
That ending… I literally said out loud, “Okay, this just got stupid.” If I wanted to watch a bunch of CGI creatures fighting, I’d just watch “Alien vs. Predator: Requiem”. Definitely not what I signed up for. Then again, it is an adaptation of a King novel. And the absolute last scene, last line, so freaking stupid. Wow!
Some authors manage to get decent adaptations of their books made, others not. When it comes to authors with multiple works and film adaptations, it’s either hit or miss. Predictability is not on your side. King, for all that he’s contributed, seems to get only a good adaptation once in a blue moon. Okay, every couple of years, but those gaps are pretty significant. The last King adaptation that I liked was “The Mist”. That was seven years ago. So I’d say we’re do for a good film now, don’t you think?