Saturday, August 15, 2015

Weird Science ★★★

Image result for Weird Science 1985

    John Hughes' third directorial ambition, simply entitled "Weird Science," is a fairly difficult film to critique, namely for two reasons: Although the picture truly embraces the quirkiness, glamour, and unadulterated beauty that is adolescent angst and the stereotypical conventions that accompany the high school realm (you know, the various social rankings and statuses, along with the synonymous clichéd characters)--which is all very fascinating to say the least--it has little to do with actuality, as most of our story here makes absolutely no sense, and while events seem to be overstated and rather inane in form. (Most scenes rely too heavily on the meaningless acts of the plot and not enough on the aforementioned strong points; nevertheless, delightfully engaging my attention.)

    Another reason for the film's laboriousness upon viewing is the mere relativity of the picture to Hughes' other early works, which includes the likes of "Sixteen Candles," the timeless masterpiece in "The Breakfast Club," and the ever-charming "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Sure, "Weird Science" is composed of the same tone and nature as the other films (as numerous trademarks from Hughes and characteristics of the "teenage dramatic comedy" in which he created appear throughout; for example, the melodramatic and naive viewpoints of the teenagers, the distance from the adult figures--either figuratively or literally--the emphasis on the rampant emotions and illogical behavior that is prevalent during this time, and the action of the "nerd" succeeding on some level), but it can never fully conjure up a suspension of disbelief, which is downright vital when it comes to the formula at hand. When compared to the other productions, "Weird Science" is surely the individualist.

Image result for Weird Science film stills LeBrock intro
    What this all basically comes down to is this: Instead of being swept away to a world of conceivability, we are constantly at odds with the inexplicable events that ultimately take place and the misguided motivations of the characters. Gary (Anthony Michael Hall), the resident John Hughes embodiment, and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) choose to create the quintessential woman (both in intellect and form), yet when her existence comes to fruition, they utilize her to gain the attention of two teenage girls instead of embarking on a life's journey with a woman that is smarter, sexier, and undoubtedly more spirited. (One glance at Kelly LeBrock and you will certainly be questioning the motivations of the two adolescents as well.) As for LeBrock's persona, her intention is clear--to liven up these young men's lives and to succeed in making them "cooler." Although Lisa's (Kelly LeBrock) aspirations are pure and believable, they prohibit us from becoming acquainted with her distinct personality, which, considering the circumstances, seems to be far more interesting.

    So what is it exactly, structurally speaking, that makes this film an outstanding example of filmmaking, and on more of a simplistic level, why is it worth watching? The answer: two enjoyable performances from LeBrock and Bill Paxton (Wyatt's ill-tempered and cruel older sibling) and an artistic vision of the cinema that can only be attributed to Mr. Hughes. LeBrock is undeniably flirtatious and indulges in a subtle sense of attraction that will resonate with every teenage boy this nation has to offer; Paxton, in one of his earlier and more humiliating roles, is genuinely amusing and carries several scenes if for no other reason than for his charismatic and eccentric delivery of dialogue.

    It would be reckless of me to characterize this picture as anything else other than an orgasmic display of John Hughes' style and personal convictions. For, that is precisely what we have here. It is absurd, it is nonsensical, and yet, it is doubtlessly entertaining. I guess this is because we know the man behind the camera and because he should rightfully be entitled to at least one film that doesn't quite hit the mark. (The documented breakdown of Hughes as his teenage vessels inevitably say goodbye to their creation should allude to his personal "attachment" to the project.) Spielberg has "Hook," Coppola has "The Godfather Part III," and Hughes, almost regrettably, has "Weird Science."

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