Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ruptured Reasoning: The Final (2010)

by Chris Marshall:

Director: Joey Stewart

Cast: Mark Donato, Jascha Washington, Whitney Hoy

Netflix Synopsis: Unpopular high school student Dane leads a group of outcasts seeking revenge on the "cool" kids who harassed and humiliated them for years, and their plan includes gruesome forms of torture learned in history class and horror films.

Chris: Whew. There is one good thing about this movie. It allowed me to do some expert-level trolling of Justin after it was over. Other than that, it was an abomination.

I almost don’t even have the energy to write about it. This is everything that’s wrong with America. This is everything with wrong with humanity. There is no redeeming value, only a glorification of evil. I really wonder who gave this project the go-ahead. What kind of person thought this would be even slightly okay?

First things first. Here’s the quick and dirty plot summary. There are a few kids who are bullied. They are angelic, if weak and cowardly, guys (and one girl) called the Outcasts who exist to be tormented. The bullies, on the other hand, are cartoonishly evil villains. The boys all act like the O’Doyles from Billy Madison, and the girls are straight out of Mean Girls. There’s nothing remotely realistic about them at all. Anyway, the “victims” get “revenge” by staging a “Halloween party” at this house in the woods, where they drug, bind, and torture the bullies in order to teach them a lesson.

Like most bullying victims, Dane was completely jacked.
I think it’s immediately obvious why this is a terrible idea, but let’s push forward. The only way the movie could have possibly been salvaged is by presenting the material in a way that makes it clear that, by torturing their tormentors, the Outcasts are even more villainous than the bullies were. Maybe—and this is a big maybe—that is what the filmmakers wanted. But I don’t believe that’s true. They seem to revel in the Outcasts’ treatment of their captive prey.

Oh, and the kids that get bullied all seem perfectly normal. They’re all of above average attractiveness, and most of the time they’re completely indistinguishable from the bullies. And I’m pretty sure Dane, the ringleader, is juicing.

The tortures are rough, of course, but they pale in comparison to the types of things seen in many movies like this. But for the purposes of this movie, at least, it doesn’t matter what they do to them. It’s the fact that they do anything at all, and they try to justify it with these pseudo-philosophical musings about blah blah blah. They never seem to have heard of the concept of proportional response.

Bullies are real problems (rarely to the extent they are in this movie, though), and it is important to take measures to deal with them. Instead of going all BTK on the bullies, perhaps they should have at least tried a traditional countermeasure first, like, I don’t know, telling an authority figure. I know tattling isn’t as manly as burning somebody’s face off, but it’s important to take baby steps first.

Again, the biggest of many issues is that the movie seems to side, intentionally or not, with the Outcasts, as if they’re engaged in some kind of noble deed. Just to be clear, they are not. We actually have English words to describe their actions: psychopathic, insane, murderous. They’re no better than Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold, despite their delusions of grandeur.

And I haven’t even talked about the technical aspects of the film. They’re bad.

Anyway, back to the real point. The moral of The Final seems to be that there’s no situation that you can’t improve through torture. This is a dangerous lesson, to be sure, but sadly, it’s one that seems to have really captivated the mind of this film’s audience. If you want the lesson of a lifetime, I’d point you toward the message board on the movie’s IMDB page. It’s filled with enthusiastic support for what the Outcasts were doing, as well as tons of people who actually liked the movie. And that is why you should never read message boards.

I could keep going for a long, long time with everything wrong with this film, but I’ll stop now to let Justin have a chance to respond. Just don’t watch this movie, whatever you do.

Justin: If you haven't been the victim of Chris' trolling then I envy you. He's good.

Yeah, this movie is terrible. As soon as I read the plot description I voiced my concern at the possible moral gray zone this movie could stumble into, but this is a post-Columbine America. It couldn't be that bad. It's monstrous.

Well, it wasn't that bad. It was much, much worse. I rarely find anything morally reprehensible in movies. I'm a big proponent of allowing NC-17 films to be shown in movie theaters. I cheered the death of Blockbuster because of its refusal to allow certain titles as part of their inventory to appease their morally righteous, family friendly clientele. This movie though, this movie should be burned. It's awful.

Pictured: Justin Waters
This movie seems to be taken straight from the dreams of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. The Outcasts get to say all the things a bullied kid has ever wanted to say, and the bullies respond with all the things a bullied kid has ever wanted his tormentor to respond with. The movie seems to be saying that if you were bullied and you have a violent plan of vengeance then you should go for it. It'll work out just like you hoped it would and everyone will finally listen to you. It's disgusting.

In a world where teenagers are murdering each other because they can't look past the two dimensional stereotypes like nerd, jock, druggie, slut, and homosexual (I'll refrain from the much harsher, more disgusting term) this movie gives us nothing but those two dimensional characters. Again it's like saying to the mentally disturbed bullied kid that yeah, that jock that picks on you. He's nothing but a jock. The world won't miss that guy. Those slutty girls are just sluts. They're barely even people. It's atrocious.

The biggest issue I have with this movie is the people it's marketed for. Teenagers, obviously. Never once in the entire film does anyone say that this is only high school. Almost everyone I've met had horrible occurrences happen to them in high school. It was the world then, and it meant everything to us when we were so close to it that we couldn't look beyond it, but it was nothing. We lived through it and now it's a funny story or a speed bump on our way to the rest of our lives.

Kids that commit a violent act against others or themselves because of something that happened in high school need to know this more than anything. It seems like the world when you’re in it, but once you're past it’s nothing. This movie never utters a word of perspective. In the world of this movie all there is is high school. The exact thought that compels teenagers to ruin their entire lives. It's horrendous.

The “moral” of this movie is the putrid icing. One of the slutty beautiful girls’ tortures was to have acid cream rubbed on her face in order to scar her for life. In the end we see her in a diner. She's wearing a sweatshirt with the hood pulled low to hide her disfigured face. All of the people in the diner stare at her until she snaps and flips over a table and screams at them to stop. In the world of the movie, she's learned her lesson. It's fucking vile.

I really can't put into words how morally reprehensible this movie is. I'm almost afraid that this post will encourage others to see it. I'm not worried about my friends; they'll see right through this piece of shit in no time, but what about any random viewer to the site? As Chris said, the IMDB message boards are a litany of awful minded people cheering the film. What if we create another one? The fact that this movie makes me feel this way is the best testament to how deplorable it is that I can give. Please, please don't watch. It's heinous.

1 comment:

  1. Wikipedia says Columbine inspired the movie.

    With that in mind, I'll make sure not to watch it.