Tuesday, July 12, 2011

REVIEW: The Breed (2006)

The Breed…a movie about superintelligent, super-vicious dogs attacking people on an island. It’s stupid, it’s kind of bland, so why are we even wasting any time, right? You know what has to happen now.

Director: Nick Mastandrea
Starring: Michelle Rodriguez, Michelle Rodriguez, Michelle Rodriguez (not that I really like her that much, but compared to the rest of these characters, sure).

The film begins with our generation’s Christopher Columbus and his bikini-clad girlfriend drinking on a boat and searching for a new world to colonize. They’re excited because in their random sailing in the sea they found a random island! How delightfully random. No, seriously, that seems to be what they were doing…just arbitrarily floating along with no clear destination. Isn’t that always a recipe for greatness? The girl goes into the woods to see what’s on the island and gets eaten by the camera.

Camera-devouring deaths are among the most lethal kinds. Especially prominent in hot blonde girls prone to starring in horror movies. -The Surgeon General

Then we see our main characters who are flying in a private jet to the same exact island, where apparently the two brothers, Matt and John, had an uncle who died and left them this cabin, which they’re now going to stay in for a little mini-vacation while Matt is studying for finals…because I guess they couldn’t have waited until he was just done with them, or something. Oh, and we’re also introduced to the only good thing about this movie, Nicki. She’s Matt’s girlfriend, who is played by Michelle Rodriguez. And she’s pretty much the only really interesting character in this.

So they get to the cabin and fool around for like 20 minutes…the token black stereotype character, Noah, and the other girl of the group named Sara flirt a little, and so do Nicki and Matt. And that’s really about it…woo-hoo?

Then Sara finds a little dog outside which she brings inside, only Noah says something mean to it and it runs away, like it can actually understand him. She chases it outside, but then a bigger dog jumps out and bites her on the leg. Even though Matt wants to do the sensible thing and take her back to the mainland where they can get it treated, John and the others say no, they want to stay out and party, because it’s not too serious yet. Yeah, screw personal safety and health; we want to stay and party! God, these people are dumb. You know what; they deserve everything they get. No sympathy for them anymore!

Then the next day Sara is acting weird. So weird, in fact, that she violently stabs a pancake in cold blood.

Did this movie really just try to make pancakes intimidating? “Watch out, she stabbed that pancake like she MEANT IT!” Truly I am horrified now.

Then the guys all go hunting in the wild, which is fine until Noah gets split up from the others and runs into the world’s only dog mafia:

"Calling Kibbles n' Bits Agent 12, over! He's headed for the south side, over!"

They know about those debts he didn’t pay and they’re fed up with waiting. They follow him without attacking (for some reason) and he finds the others JUST IN TIME for them to run into Christopher Columbus from the opening, who apparently has survived this entire time and is covered in blood, which I hear is very tasty when you're the opening kill character in a horror movie that somehow survived to the half-hour mark. The dogs decide they want to find out for themselves, and they tackle him like a football team. A big, hairy, four-legged football team.

And thus ended his quest for the new world.

Seriously, they jump him like a bunch of starving kids at a McDonalds! I guess they just really liked him a lot better than the other guys even though all four were standing in the same area…oh, I forgot; if they attacked now, there wouldn’t be as much suspense later on. Silly me.

Then everybody reconvenes at the cabin and they decide to try and go get the boat, except they can’t do that, because the dogs bit the rope anchoring it down, and now it’s floating away. But they can’t go swim and get it either, because whoops, there are dogs sitting on the plane’s wings too! The lengths these dogs are going to stop them from getting away is just ridiculous, and moreso when later on you see how inconsistent they are about it.

And did I mention that I’ve always wanted to fly the “dogs on wings” airlines? It has a certain je ne sais quoi to it.

They're here for the airline food. If you know what I mean.

So yeah, they lock themselves back in the cabin after that, and we’re treated to the movie’s exceptional racial sensibility when we see Noah acting like the stereotypical black character he is. So glad these writers aren’t insensitive. It’s like he’s a manlier Chris Tucker at some points. Anyway their next plan of attack is to use the pulley to slide on a rope to the shed, where the car is. Only Nicki can do it, except she got injured on the leg when John shot her with an arrow – like the true archer he is. But since it’s Michelle Rodriguez, this really is only a flesh wound, as she makes her way over to the shed, gets inside and does some kuh-razy gymnastics to escape the dogs. This is the only good part of the movie, and even then I suspect it’s because it only has her in it, and not the rest of those morons. And she didn’t even accomplish anything by going over there anyway, since the car wouldn’t start and the dogs started jumping at her before she could fix it. Sooooo sadly, a pretty pointless scene aside from getting to watch Rodriguez kick some ass.

You go girl. Keep in mind that she's doing this with a heavily injured leg, and she's STILL kicking more ass than the rest of the characters combined. That's classy right there.

Back at the cabin, Noah goes down to check the fuse box and get some more wine out of the cellar when he gets attacked by a dog that was somehow silently waiting down there! It didn’t go up and attack them all indiscriminately because it knew it was in a horror film. So it just waited for someone to come down there instead. I guess dogs are smarter than we give them credit. Oh, and nobody really cares that their friend is dead, either – the most he gets is a casual “I can’t believe Noah is dead” before they change subjects again; real great friends these people were.

Truly the most emotional death scene I've ever...oh who am I kidding

After that, it’s nighttime, and we learn several things, like a) the dogs just leave them alone at night and don’t even try to come in at all, and b) being bit by one of them makes you act…slightly irritable when people try to touch you, for some reason, as Sara does when John tries to hug her. OK then; I thought it would actually be something a little more interesting than that…

Then the next day the dogs crash through the walls of the house to attack them. Why didn’t they do this before? No answer...I guess they just really liked building up the suspense.

John and Matt get the car and drive out, intending to…do something, I’m sure. When they reach the cliff and remember that they’re actually on an island, they go back to the house and get attacked by some dogs on the way. Why didn’t the dogs go to the house and attack the helpless and injured females still there all alone? Maybe John and Matt just smelled better.

Sara dies and none of them seem to care at all, and they drive away to find the dog “training” facility on the other side of the island. They somehow climb over the barbed-wire fence and go in. John climbs up this big electric tower to try and get some cell phone signal working when he sees the boat that Christopher Columbus and his doomed busty girlfriend brought in at the beginning. And why didn’t Columbus go back and use the boat to sail away in when he was running away from the dogs during the first part of the movie? GOD, HOW MANY PLOT HOLES ARE THERE? You know it's a bad sign when I have to ask these questions every few minutes!

The dogs try to attack Nicki, but she blows them up along with the whole factory in a giant blaze of fire. Matt and John think she’s dead, but her Michelle Rodriguez powers pulled her out of it fine, and she escaped without a scratch. They get on the boat and start going home when another dog attacks! It had been hiding in the boat the whole time just waiting for someone to get on and relax their guard! So THAT’S why Columbus didn’t take the boat! Because the movie had to set up a contrived and silly ending jump scare! Of course!

Yeah, that was the end of the movie, too. This whole thing was just dumb. Every single plot point, and the center of the movie’s suspense, was entirely reliant on the fact that these dogs are smart enough to outwit the human characters. But that doesn’t work when the writers can’t seem to decide on how smart they are. One minute they’re smart enough to make sure the humans can’t use their plane to leave, but then they seem like they don’t even know what they’re doing when they ignore opportunities to attack them later. And I thought there could have been an interesting plot point with Sara getting sick from being bitten. A few times it seemed like she was becoming one of them, or something (which is actually a good idea), but she got killed off before we could really see, so yeah, big waste of time there too. What a piece of cheap junk this was.

Now I'll end this review the only way I know how: