10A-The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 18, 2006
A touch of 'Grace'
at the Michigan
By Michelle Zellers their bodies.
Daily Arts Writer The story of the three yout
women completing their missic
The pregnant Colombian 17 becomes a sort of narrative expo
year old in 2004's "Maria Full of of heroin trafficking, tracking tI
Grace," which - challenges and dangers a typic
will screen Maria Full mule might face, which would I
tomorrow at the of Grace fascinating enough to anyone unf
Michigan The- miliar with the human carriers wI
atre is nothing Tomorrow routinely cross the U.S. border. TI
if not bold. Her at 7 p.m. thread of Maria's personal sto
route to a bet- At the Michigant also thickens when she reaches
ter life is paved world of choice and ambiguityi
with the gravest Fine Line New York City. No longer propelle
possible health toward anything, she alone mu
and political dangers - the route of determine a direction for her ow
Colombian heroin trafficking into immediate future as well as h
the United States. unborn child's.
Maria (newcomer Catalina San- Besides its sincere and lucid st
dino Moreno) grudgingly helps to rytelling, "Maria Full of Grace
support her sister's baby and other warrants attention for Moreno
family members with a mind- striking debut performanc
less job, dethorning roses in rural Though no one really expecte
Colombia, until her employer's her to win the Academy Awa:
debasing treatment finally propels - the nomination itself was
her to seek work in Bogota. The surprise - it was telling that h
most lucrative prospect is an offer name made the list of 2004 be
of about $5,000 - to swallow more actress nods alongside names li
than 60 grape-sized heroin pellets Kate Winslet and Hilary Swan
and transport them to New York She easily breaks the languag
City in her stomach. After speak- barrier, coming across emotior
ing to another drug mule (a veteran, ally on screen even to those wh
having survived just two previous don't understand Spanish. It's h
trips), Maria and a tagalong friend visual expressiveness that guide
from home accept the offer, risking us with Maria along the momer
both imprisonment and the heroin tous passage of frustration, appr
packets lethally breaking inside hension, terror and finally courag
By Hyatt Michaels
ine Daily Arts Writer
Wes Craven's "Scream 2" is far from a
masterpiece, but if more horror sequels
followed its template,
movies like "The * A A
Grudge 2" would be a
lot less irritating. The
Hate it or love it, Grudge 2
"Scream 2" was the At the Showcase
rare sequel to capture and Quality 16
the zing of the original, Columbia
churning out scares
even while casually poking fun at its own
ng silly conventions. "The Grudge 2" takes
on its silly conventions seriously, making the
s6 shortcomings of the original's ridiculous
he story all the more obvious.
al The new film begins where the first left
be off: failing to build suspense.
a- We find injured heroine Sarah Michelle
ho Gellar ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer")
he strapped to a hospital bed in Japan and
ry accused of killing her boyfriend from the
a first film. We all know the creepy curse
in (re: the grudge) is responsible, but we're
ed forced to watch crazy a Gellar emote igno-
st rance anyway. When Buffy mysteriously
vn bites the dust, it's up to her estranged
er sister, Joan of Arcadia - sorry, Amber
Tamblyn ("The Sisterhood of Traveling
o- Pants") - to pick up the pieces and save
e" the day.
's From there, "The Grudge 2" simply
e. replicates the structure of its predecessor,
ad which didn't give its sequel much to live to
rd up to in the first place.
a Rather than learn from the original's
er flaws, "The Grudge 2" delves deep into
st the plot holes that sunk it, running three
ke parallel stories that combine for a rather
k. anticlimactic ending. Two of these sto-
ge ries take place in Japan and the other in
n- Chicago, where a cloaked victim spreads
so the curse to an unsuspecting family a few
er doors down.
es The curse supposedly causes uncontrol-
n- lable rage in each victim it touches. But
e- if this is the case, why the hell does the
e. Chicago family go around stalking and
I wonder if Pantene Pro V would work on this.
killing everybody else? If these victims victims actually stand still and watch as
are cursed with uncontrollable rage, why their so-called tormentors crawl slowly
aren't they all killing each other? "The through photographs, air vents and beds
Grudge 2" only briefly attempts to answer to attack them.
this, opting for bald scares over any real As the helmer of "The Grudge" series
plot development or, you and its Japanese
know, logic - not that A fai ch forerunner "Ju-on,"
the film provokes an ite of you'd think direc-
ounce of thrills either. to or Takashi Shimizu
What's most trou- horror, uoomeu to would have enough
bling is that everything know-how to direct
from its hokey family of repeat the trespasses an effective horror
ghosts to its lame edit- film. Before mak-
ing tricks incites more of its predecessor. ing the inevitable
laughter than goose- "Grudge 3" train
bumps. The highlight of wreck, Shimizu
horror films should at least be a handful should take a look at the work of Craven.
of suspenseful moments or well-choreo- Despite its flaws, at least "Scream" offered
graphed chase sequences, but "The Grudge its audience a choice of horror or comedy.
2" bores us with multiple moments where "The Grudge 2" has nothing.
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