Tuesday, December 13, 2011

REVIEW: A&E's Stephen King's Bag of Bones - Part 2 (2011)

Director: Mick Garris
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Melissa George

So here it is, the second part of the Bag of Bones review and the conclusion to this dark and mysterious Stephen King epic. How does it hold up? Well, I will say more things happened in this installment, and as a result, has more potential to be incredibly silly and over the top. But while it does tend to get egregious, it also manages to be entertaining and captivating all the same. Confused yet? Let’s dig in further…

Basically the problems here are the same problems as on the first part. It’s too long, and could have easily been shortened. But it’s saved yet again by that certain unnamable something that just keeps you watching anyway. This doesn’t really get too boring, and really doesn’t feel like two hours, either. Noonan’s detective work as he looks into the disappearance of Sara Tidwell and tries to figure out what his ghosts are telling him is surprisingly entertaining. The characters of Mattie and her daughter, while they don’t get much screentime, are energetically played, and we are endeared to them by the fact that they are a small family trying to stick together. The villains are pretty stupid, though. Especially that old witch-lady working for Max Devore…yergh. She looks like a caricature of a caricature!

Most of the main problems unique to this part come out because of the lack of time devoted to certain subplots. Like how fast Noonan and Mattie get intimate; what, didn’t they only have 2 scenes or so before this? Seems a bit fast, but then again, hey, it is pretty dire circumstances after all. The involvement of the rest of the town in trying to attack our main heroes is seriously underplayed. It seemed more like an afterthought, dropped quickly as soon as everything was resolved. So they just let it be that half the town was trying to kill them? And for that matter, Mike himself kills at least two people during this whole thing, and where’s his remorse? I know he did it for good reasons, but still, you’d think he’d be a little more shaken up!

The one thing I really started to hate was the over-use of repeated phrases. The first one only had “One for yes, two for no,” but this one also has “Lie down, bag of bones” and “Custody has its responsibilities!” as well, both of which are repeated several times…over and over and over and over again.

But the story is exciting and the characters are good, and so you’re kept watching anyway, despite the flaws. It’s a genuinely good story. What more is there to say? Stephen King’s main draw has always been the excitement and tension he injects into his stories like shark poison, and that is no different here. Bag of Bones isn’t the best Stephen King film adaptation, but I’ve also seen worse.