Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine (2001) - Review - @BrandonCSites

Valentine (2001) *1/2
D: Jamie Blanks
C: Denise Richards, David Boreanaz, Marley Shelton, Jessica Capshaw, Jessica Cauffiel, Katherine Heigl
P: A group of college aged female friends are systemically offed by a serial killer. Could it have anything to do with a nerd that they all rejected at the Valentine's Day dance back when they were in middle school? 

Valentine is one of those films that left me completely confused. No, I wasn't confused by the film's plotting or its twist and turns. No, I wasn't confused by the ending. I was confused in the sense of what it was that Valentine was actually trying to accomplish.

Valentine is a slasher film, but it's the type of slasher film that seems uncomfortable with being a slasher film. The film plays up to elements of sex and violence, but then when it comes time for the big moments to arrive, the film curiously shies away from them. The film seems more concerned with establishing the bound between the film's various female characters and their various relationships with men in general. The problem is that the female characters are portrayed as either caricature ish type bitches (and I hate using that word) that are intent on being mean to everyone around them or as a seductresses looking to score. As for the men, they're portrayed as scum or red herrings for the sake of red herrings.

To Valentine's credit, the film is technically proficient in every way. There's some stylish production design. A set piece involving a character trapped in a Jacuzzi stands out, but I don't watch films for production values alone. I watch films, because I want to be engaged by the material in some way, shape or form. Valentine fails to embrace what it is and as a result, the film comes across as contemptible towards its target audience. [R] 96 mins.
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