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I will die on this hill.
Yeah, I know the history. I saw the 1977 version of this movie on TV as a kid. Then I saw the 1996 version, which is the subject of this post. I know of the disasters that befell the production of the remake. I know that Marlon Brando created a bizarre version of the titular character just to piss off the director. I don’t care. I like this movie and thought Marlon Brando’s interpretation of Dr. Moreau was brilliant.
The doctor was insane, SPOLIER ALERT! genetically experimenting with ordinary animals and turning them into anthropomorphic monstrosities. Well of course he wore an ice bucket on his head. His eccentricity is exactly what you’d expect from such a maniac. His eccentric intensity was hilarious. “Forcefully, forcefully!”
Another scene I loved was SPOLIER ALERT! the one in which he dies.
It demonstrates both his manipulativeness and his arrogance. Rather than panic at the site of his creations in his home, he remained calm waiting for his device that would incapacitate his “children,” distracting them by giving credence to hyena’s random selection of notes banged out on the piano. The look of surprise on his face when SPOLIER ALERT! the device didn’t work was priceless. The conflict between Brando and the director is what gave us the perfect performance for this character.
On top of that, the tension between Kilmer and Brando gave us a great scene where Kilmer ridiculed Brando, which is exactly what you’d expect from an alcoholic, disgruntled employee. Art imitated life here, and it was marvelous.
The lead, played by David Thewlis, was terrible. Thewlis isn’t a bad actor, but he was much younger then, so maybe it was his fault, the screenwriter’s fault, or both. Either way, I agree that his performance was a weakness, but that’s all I’ll concede.
And with that, my streak of posting on consecutive days dies at 374.
This is an appropriate day to be discussing monsters and things that should die.
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