There are movies you watch, and movies you experience. Then, there are movies you read a comic book during. I like to call this last category of film “Robert De Niro movies”. Personally, I like to read recent Chris Claremont-penned Uncanny X-Men comics while I ignore De Niro’s work, since the half-retarded films mix with the three-quarters retarded comic books to make a relatively diverting two hours, or one and a quarter retards. And before anyone gets all huffy, I do acknowledge that De Niro has a body of work in his past that would put most actors to shame, but the sheer weight of lame scripts, distracted performances and awful, awful comedies that marked his declining years manage to make even the most fawning critics forget The Deer Hunter. And once the scathing reviews of Flawless killed the original actor, the De Niro simulacrum stewed in earthen pots stuffed with manure and herbs carried on disgracing his legacy, never able to shed the stench of compost that marked his unbirth.
Hide And Seek has no redeeming features, save perhaps Dakota Fanning. It’s not that she’s particularly good in the film, it’s just that she’s supposed to be mentally ill, which the make-up department apparently took as license to make her look like a blond Wednesday Addams. Hot. I think I finally understand where pedophilia comes from. It’s not so much an attraction to children as it is an appreciation of how attractive the child will be when they grow up, coupled with a fear that once they do, you won’t be able to overpower them. It doesn’t make it OK, but at least I learned something from the movie.
Continuing on with the sex references, Hide and Seek is limp and useless. A ‘thriller’ about a psychiatrist who loses his wife, then moves to the country with his increasingly unstable daughter, the movie was filmed with four alternate endings that could be seamlessly integrated into the film. I mention this not in passing, but rather as evidence of the movie’s flawed structure. A mystery that’s so non-committal and vague any ending can be slapped on is one that has not been well thought out. You can’t just swap the final third of a film out like a drill bit and expect it to make sense. This is a narrative, not a Choose Your Own Adventure book for pre-teens learning recreational reading. Doing this renders the film meaningless, and without a point, like a joke without a punch-line, or a review without a point.