The Ring (*)

Posted on November 17th, 2002 in Movie Reviews by EngineerBoy

The Ring could have been good, but not great. It has solid bones, but the meat is more like spam than filet mignon. Naomi Watts (who should have won an Oscar for her performance in Mulholland Drive) does a good job, as does the rest of the cast, but the material they are given, and the story/direction are uninspired and uninspriring.

Particularly underwhelming is the director’s use of Watts’ character’s son as a sort of Joely Hale Osment doppelganger. The director’s attempts to use the kid (who seems like a fine actor) to capture the chill of ‘I see dead people’ do not work, and play like parody of the Sixth Sense.

***************** SPOILERs AHEAD *********************

The story had many, many holes. For instance, answer any of these for me:

What would happen if the person who watched the videotape is not near a TV seven days later?

What would happen if they were not near a phone right after watching the video?

What is the purpose of the first phone call, if it doesn’t matter whether or not the call is answered?

Would a malevolent force know enough (or care enough) to “wait for the beep” to leave a message?

What was the purpose of the scene where Naomi Watts’ character is down the well, other than to set up the false ending?

If four teenagers watched a videotape, got a warning message via phone, then died in simultaneous yet unrelated incidents seven days later, wouldn’t the police become involved?

What art school drop-out directed that lame video?

Those are not burning questions that have occurred to me after deep ruminations on the complex message of the film. Those are forehead-slap-and-snicker-inducing gaffes that occurred to me during the film. I have a fairly balanced view of movies, in that I can usually recognize when a film is good, but just doesn’t appeal to my tastes. This isn’t one of them.

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