It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
When directors make a wonderful movie, you look forward to their next one with a special anticipation, thinking maybe they've got the secret. If it turns out they don't, you feel almost betrayed. That's how I felt after "The Beverly Hillbillies," one of the worst movies of this or any year.
Its director is Penelope Spheeris. She directed "Wayne's World," that inventive and amusing 1992 film about a couple of nerds running a cable talk show out of their basement. The movie had a spirit to it, a style, and I guess I thought maybe that would carry over to Spheeris' next project.
It didn't. Imagine the dumbest half-hour sitcom you've ever seen, spin it out to 93 minutes by making it even more thin and shallow, and you have this movie. It's appalling. It's not even really a good version of whatever it was that made the TV series appealing. And it certainly doesn't add the kind of spin and quality we expect when we go to the movies.
"The Addams Family" (no great shakes itself) improved on the TV show by adding inventive production design and special effects, and plugging in some talented actors. The "Batman" movies exist in another universe than the TV show or the comic books. But this "Beverly Hillbillies" seems to have been made with serene self-confidence, as if all the movie had to do was preserve the vacuous inanity of the original series.