The Films of Alex Proyas #4 – Garage Days (2002)

garage-days-9Is director Alex Proyas to sci-fi what my favorite horror director John Carpenter is to horror, as I have heard on more than one occasion from several different sci-fi junkies, whose opinions I all strongly respect? There’s only one way to find out; by watching all of Proyas’ films in chronological order. My take on his fourth feature, Garage Days, after the jump.

one-star2Arghhh, what the shit was it that I just watched?!

As much as I wish to just chalk this one up to growing pains and be done with it, I can’t. This is Alex Proyas‘ fourth film, and if he hasn’t grown into his director’s sneakers by now then he should start wearing sandals. Wasn’t it just one movie ago that Proyas blessed the cinemas with Dark City thus proving to the world he was indeed capable of running things (hence the sneaker metaphor)? That film is a maturely realized and wildly recognized modern day science fiction classic. On the other hand, Garage Days is a (insert synonym of your choice for the phrase pile of shit here).

Okay, I’ll play along and assume that this was made by the same guy who made Dark City, my next question then is, what drugs was he taking when he made this?

Stepping away from the Hollywood limelight, Proyas returned to his native Australia, hired an all-Aussie cast of actors, and set about making this indie comedy about a struggling rock band.

Hear me out: I hold nothing against a director stepping outside his or her comfort zone to work in another genre (in this case, from brooding dystopian sci-fi and fantasy to comedy), however I will hold it against them when they seemingly devolve as a filmmaker to the point of committing second-rate esthetic plagiarism out of what they perceive to be the hippest new trend of the time.

The worst part about watching this movie was struggling to focus on something positive in any given scene. Try as I may – and I did try – this is not an easy thing to do, especially when being bombarded with horrendous CGI, embarrassingly aped Trainspotting-esque voice overs, heavy use of multi-split screen ala bad 1990s MTV music videos, and just an overall caricatured clichéd rock n’ roll script. Also, I’m not usually one to get hung up on wardrobe, but am I to believe there wasn’t a single person on the set who didn’t recognize how ridiculous their mock-up and out-of-touch Hot Topic attire was going to look?

Other than to say that Proyas and the people who put him up to this (I really hope there were people who put him up to this) should be ashamed of this giant step backwards, I think I’m done here. I’m ready to move on.

Up Next: I, Robot

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Categories: Director Spotlight, Reviews

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