As I've grown as a writer, I tend to see things from a different a different perspective now. How I view TV shows, films, and even music has changed as I learn to navigate the world with the mind of someone who creates their own stories. Being a writer means I don't enjoy movies like I used to because bad dialogue, corny and/or lack of character development stands out even more now. I pick apart the smallest things that wouldn't have even crossed my mind ten years ago. The latest example of this is my recent viewing of the 2019 Child's Play remake.
I went into this film with pretty moderate expectations considering the reviews had already been a mix of good and bad. As much as I wanted to enjoy this film, it pains me to say that I did not enjoy it at all. Let's start with one of my biggest gripes about this film, the cheesy dialogue:
In the beginning, when we cut to Andy's mom at work. A Black guy is having a tantrum because his kid wanted the blonde Buddi doll, not that "Ginger piece of shit" (I'm not kidding, those were his exact words.) First of all, no Black child in the history of Black children cares that much about the hair color of a WHITE doll. Secondly, I find it highly unlikely that referring to red-heads in a derogatory manner is something that Black men naturally do. As a matter of fact, it isn't. Whoever wrote that scene needs to take a class on how to write Black characters, even minor ones.
Speaking of dialogue, there is a scene not too long after where Andy's mom, played by Aubrey Plaza asks another employee if she could take the returned doll home for her son. He responds with "You have a kid?" and she makes a joke referencing her teen pregnancy. She never said how old her child was, and Aubrey Plaza looks 28 at the youngest. So why would it be shocking for someone her age to have a child? Just another example of the stupid and unnecessary dialogue in this movie. Now I know you're probably reading this like "Who gives a shit? I didn't even notice that." But that's my point. As a writer, these things stand out like a sore thumb. Trust me, I miss the days when I could blindly enjoy a film without a care in the world. But those days are long gone, and if your shit stinks, I'm gonna tell ya! LOL.
Now on to the character development. In this version, Andy had a hearing disability. I thought this would play a role in his relationship with the Buddi doll, especially since it was implied that he had no friends and struggled to be social. But not only was him being hearing impaired only mentioned twice in the entire movie, Andy ended up making friends before the halfway point of the film. So the whole thing about him being a loner was immediately tossed out the window. The second time Andy's hearing disability was mentioned, was during a fight with another kid later in the film where I guess we were supposed to feel bad for him. But by then I had forgotten about his 'disability' and didn't care about him being humiliated. It had me wondering why they even bothered with it in the first place.
The addition of the other kids in this film (Andy's friends) was also pointless and added nothing to the film. The original Child's Play worked because the cast was simple and we actually cared about what happened to Andy and his mom. Even the detective. But in this one, everyone could've died and it wouldn't have mattered because they were all so forgettable and cringe. Which is disappointing to say because the casting choices were actually decent. Not to mention Mark Hamill's performance as the voice of Chucky was completely phoned in. Although his voice is always entertaining, so I'll still give him credit.
This remake could've been so much better than it was. Especially with the switch up of the dolls being ran by tech versus having the soul of a serial killer. (Which I still prefer) This was clearly another nostalgic cash grab and nothing more. If you haven't seen Child's Play 2019 don't bother. It was a disappointment and I'm so glad I didn't spend money to see it in theaters.
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