Saturday, October 27, 2012

Stephen King's Bag Of Bones (2011)

**This review contains spoilers**

Adapting a Stephen King novel into a film or a miniseries isn’t easy at all. It can always be tricky and risky project, because King’s stories are VERY complex and thought provoking, and his characters usually have a ton of depth. Creating a successful King adaptation can always be a hard mission, and I can only think of five high quality films/miniseries (Kubrick’s version of The Shining, Misery, Secret Window, The Langoliers, Pet Sematary). These films/miniseries were fun to watch, but the same thing can’t be said about Bag Of Bones, unfortunately. Condensing a Stephen King novel into a screenplay can be a tough task, and the success rate for King’s adaptation’s isn’t too high. Bag Of Bones starts out with some promise, but as time passes, this one eventually becomes a massive failure.

Bag Of Bones features an intriguing premise and a mysterious story. Pierce Brosnan delivers a solid performance as the lead man, and the rest of the acting is decent enough. But this story doesn’t become better with more time: “Wow! This could be something good, and I want to see where this goes!” This is how I felt during the early stages of this TV special, but as time progressed my feelings changed: “Oh God let this be over! Please just let it end!” Bag Of Bones can provide some nice spook moments, and this film can feel chilling and eerie most of the time, but Bag Of Bones slowly turns into one gigantic disappointment. This was a four hour special, so everything moves at a snail-like pace, as the mystery unravels. They actually do a decent job of building the tension, but everything just falls flat towards the end. The surprises felt so underwhelming, and the big twist at the end was an enormous disappointment. I guess they were trying to pull off one of those jaw-dropping mind fuck style endings, but the final moments of this special just left me with that “Really??? That’s it?!?!?” feeling. It felt like they were building towards something BIG here, but the ending didn’t provide that satisfying payoff I was looking for.

You can call this a TV miniseries, or you can call this another Stephen King “film” (because this one will be released as a “film” on DVD in the near future), but either way you look at it, four hours is a lot of time. There should’ve been a special payoff at the end of this long journey, or the ride to the end should have provided me with some kind of special experience, but Bag Of Bones does neither. Unfortunately, I caught A&E’s full four hour version, where they ran both specials back to back, so I didn’t have the chance to see both two hour specials separately. I didn’t take the break between both parts, and the lack of an extended break did drag this rating down for me, because sitting through anything for four hours can feel exhausting.

Bag Of Bones provides some spooky moments and a few jump scares. I’ll give this one some extra credit for the production values, because the production values do rise above the normal made for TV standard. Still, Bag Of Bones can be very dull most of the time, and this spooky ghost story does have some silly moments. Brosnan gets his ass handed to him by this elderly woman, and he struggles to defeat this VERY old woman during a laughable fight at the end of this special. And I can’t forget about Mike’s (Brosnan’s character) connection with his dead wife. Mike receives a lot of signals from his deceased wife, and he attempts to make a connection with her. Mike constantly tries to establish a bond with his dead wife, and these scenes were suppose to deliver the majority of the emotional moments here, but these scenes just provided some unintentional laughs for me.

I’ll admit, I haven’t read the novel this film was based on just yet, but Bag Of Bones just unraveled into a weak and disappointing mess as time progressed. The twists and surprises towards the end didn’t do anything for me, because the explanations for the secrets and the mysteries just felt so ludicrous and far-fetched. Pierce Brosnan gave his best effort here, but he couldn’t save this one, and Bag Of Bones was a painful and forgettable four hour experience for me.

Final Rating: 2/10

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