Friday, October 19, 2007

Perfect Creature, or On Underdirection

Perfect Creature makes you glad you’re not a lot of people – anyone involved with Perfect Creature, for a start. But in particular, it makes you glad you’re not Dougray Scott.

Scott has clearly been given exactly two pieces of direction for the entirety of Perfect Creature: “look dour” and “now tilt your head”. Whenever nothing’s happening (this is often), it’s Scott’s job to act morose, make sure nobody’s having any fun.

What a trial! Trying to get through a scene, remembering the time you stopped a bullet for John Malkovich, your days filled with almost-actors snarling in your face thinking they had pathos! The poor fellow doesn’t even get any scenes with the delightful man from the Ferritt ad…

Oh, but wait - maybe this is the scene where Dougray gets to fire the magic vampire-killing bullet-time gun! Wait, Dougray, before you do anything rash, let’s have that head-tilt that’s the only piece of character you’ve been given and thus have used in every single reaction shot in the fucking movie!

Whether it’s the requisite scientific mumbo-jumbo or the requisite religious-metaphor schtick, good ol’ Dougray’s there, being dour. And on the frequent occasion that Perfect Creature gives the plot a rest and focuses on the unique visual universe it’s cobbled together from all the movies with the exact same story – you can bet he’s out there somewhere, not smiling, and tilting his head.

At the end of the movie – well, I say “end”, but being as nothing much has happened, all we really get is a cessation of the dullness and some credits – Dougray stands, looking dour, and solemnly intones that his character would like a sequel.

And somewhere, in a parallel universe, everyone’s seen this movie, so they don’t care whether the next installation is called Perfect Creature 2 or Underworld 3 or Blade 4. Everyone except Dougray’s chiropractor. He’s just bought a boat.

[originally appeared on Flicks]

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