Margot Reviews “ThePrisoner”, ca. 2009
So… This happened.
Really, it sounds perfect. Patrick McGoohan’s classic reformatted with Jim Caviezel in the original six episodes that Patrick really wanted? Looks so perfect and tailor made for the fans, doesn’t it?
It’s not. Really, it’s not. In fact, I say to you that his current and soon to be over project, Person of Interest, is actually closer to what The [Original] Prisoner was about than this one.
Imagine M. Night Shyamalan trying to be David Lynch– and failing miserably. The directing was so horrible that you could come away with the idea that Caviezel can’t act.
I mean, it was nice to know that he has a vocal range past a whisper, but he still seemed stilted and generally lifeless. Bad directors can do that to just about anybody. I even saw it happen to Vincent D’Onofrio, but that’s another show.
The music was produced by a tone deaf knock off of Aphex Twin. Or at least that’s what it sounded like. I saw those episodes and realized… I just didn’t care about any of these people. The writers were too clever, and revealed so little of what was actually happening that you simply didn’t feel like investing in, or trusting the rest of it. I might have seen a few more episodes out of morbid curiosity (really, how do they end this mess?) but the natives (the people I was watching it with) were threatening to rebel.
Then I read the Wikipedia summary of the plot.
I’m glad they spared me. Seriously, these writers had NO CLUE what the original was about or what it was trying to say. I get the feeling they were trying to unmake the original from the inside– and it came off the same flaws as bad Shyamalan, a one trick pony that tries sooooo hard to EXPLAIN itself. Ultimately, it has no sense of humor about itself or even what it’s trying to tear down. The driving principle was, “If you can’t blind them with your brilliance, baffle them with your BS.”
While I appreciated the side message about the best laid plans, the structure of the show did little to hold up to the original. It comes across as more dated (at 2009 that ages fast!) and far less coherent than the original. You knew exactly where things started with McGoohan’s opus, but even where the beginning was in the story turned out to be a moving target.
By the time that I could see what they were trying to do, they got families involved, further muddying everything up.
So…what was good about it? Anything?
Okay, it was very pretty to watch. Jim Caviesel is great eye candy. And the sets were visually interesting, too. I also liked the intro– It gave me a lot of hope. But it went downhill — and quickly– from there.
But I’d need a lot more drugs or something to keep me interested for the story itself. Especially since it was just another attempt at raping my college experience. I suppose I should be glad it wasn’t my childhood… again.