"Hopefully Hopkins Doesn't Quit Acting After This Film"
Instinct (**) – I’ve had a nasty habit for a long time. It’s the age-old habit of biting one’s fingernails. With age, I have been getting betting at controlling this habit – with the nails taking their most significant decline when I try to stay awake – primarily during movies – late movies – whether they are good or bad. I saw a late show of Instinct on Saturday night and let’s just say I need reconstructive surgery on my fingers.Halfway through this film I looked like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly when he peeled his nails off in front of the bathroom mirror. Needless to say, I found myself dozing off several times during this film and its almost as if the filmmakers were able to telegraph this Village of the Damned effect amongst its audiences so they go through the trouble of creating very loud, supposedly shocking “BOO” moments when outbursts occur every few minutes as if to yell to everyone watching “WAKE UP!!!!!”. And, indeed, I did. I couldn’t help it. I kept my eyes from closing even if they didn’t understand what the hell they were watching. I have no idea what this movie is truly supposed to be about. It seems like the message of the film is that we should just let crazy lunatics out of jail and allow them to roam about free in the jungle, because after all, we’re not that far removed from the animal kingdom and it should be understood when we kill a fellow human being. And what the hell does Cuba Gooding learn from Hopkins by the end of this film to give this big-time crying speech that might work in a better film, but in a film like Instinct, plays like a study in overacting. We go through this whole film to discover that Anthony Hopkins is not a psychopath, but someone who killed two park rangers to protect his family, namely the gorillas he ends up living with for two years because “they took him in as their own.” We might do exactly what he did after he’s witness to the most brutal scene in the film, and frankly, the best and most interesting. I also couldn’t help but notice how freakishly strong Hopkins is in the movie. For an old guy, he kicks some major ass in the movie, taking out park rangers, and a whole squad of security agents. And those are the true highlights of a film which is basically Mighty Joe Young Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in the Mist. Hopkins does what he can and still remains one of the most interesting actors to watch. It’s truly the only thing that really got me through the film. And did we really need the Cuckoo’s Nest mentality of the prison scenes whose prisoners all rally to make Hopkins their leader? And this continues with the numerous “Ace of Diamonds” sequences right up to the blatant Cuckoo’s Nest ending which really makes no sense.And if that’s not enough of a rip-off ending, we end with what will now be referred to as the “Shawshank Pleasantville” shot where a character stands in the middle of a rainstorm and raises his arms to the clouds. Enough already people. The ending of this film feels like nails on a blackboard. Fingernails I no longer have by the end credits.