Sunday, April 26, 2020

Waiting for the Giants (2000)

I remember in grade school being graded in three categories.  There were academics, effort and conduct.  As a student, I realize that only academics mattered, as effort and conduct were generally for the school’s internal use.  Colleges tended to look mostly at the academic grade.

I wonder if movies tend to suffer from the same problem.  It doesn’t matter so much how much you tried to make a good movie.  What matters is the finished product.  This is why you can have lots of money and a great idea and still make a movie that makes no sense.

Waiting for the Giants starts in Miami, circa 2007.  A wife answers the door and is questioned by police, who are looking for her husband, Ray.  What did he do that’s so bad?  He’s a mutant.  During the verbal exchange, one of the officers shoots her.

Cut to some indeterminate time later and some undisclosed location, Ray is at a diner with a guy named Nate.  They’re travelling around the country.  Why?  It turns out that Ray is a giant.  People don’t like giants.  They have special abilities.

Nate, who happens to be blind, is convinced that Ray has some sort of psychic mental abilities that he’s using on him.  Ray denies this.  I suppose the best argument that Nate could have used to prove it is that he doesn’t make Nate shut up.  Nate’s special ability seems to be yapping.

While driving at night, they come across Annabelle lying in the road.  There are no clues what happened to her or where she came from.  They take her in Ray’s Jeep because that would be better than leaving her.  Oh, and there’s some old guy in the bushes watching them.

We learn a lot about Nate and Annabelle through flashbacks.  Ray was experimented on.  I guess Nate’s blindness has something to do with this, but Ray thinks it might be psychosomatic.  Ray rescued him at some point.  Annabelle was orphaned at an early age.  She was taken in by her grandfather, who happens to be the old guy that was watching them.

The entire movie comes across as a half-baked concept.  It has the makings of a great pilot for a TV show, but would need some sort of development.  Like, what exactly is a giant?  Why these three people?  All we get is three people wandering around the country.

One might assume that Ray is running from the police, but he has almost no contact with any law enforcement.  Aside from the opening scene, the only exception is when Annabelle helps an injured road.  Ray is eager to leave once he hears sirens, which might very well be from an ambulance.

It’s also not explained how Nate was being experimented on at all.  Does he have powers?  Maybe.  The only one that has any sort of story is Annabelle.  We find out that the grandfather was abusive and that she ran away.  The grandfather is also very determined to get her back.

This isn’t even a student project.  That would be insulting to students, who at least have some motivation to do well.  This is like a couple of kids finding a camcorder and recording some scenes together.  It’s not particularly coherent, nor is it entertaining.  There isn’t even anything about why giants are disliked.  Did somebody destroy a city or something?  The closest we get is Ray saying how groups of people will always hate one another.

It seems like a rather long-winded way of saying that humanity will always have different factions and it will be the fate of those factions to go against one another rather than work together.  It could have been handled by a much shorter movie.

Film Trailer - WAITING FOR THE GIANTS from Phillip M. Lacy on Vimeo.

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