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London (0/10)

by Tony Medley

At one point, Syd (Chris Evans) says, “I just want something to turn the pain off. Give me something.” For a brief moment I thought he must be sitting right next to me watching feeling the same pain I was enduring having to sit through to the end of this clunker and I almost said, “I know how to stop the pain; let’s get outa here!”

This has several clues that it stinks. The first comes within the opening 10 minutes when a woman comes into a bathroom where two guys are snorting coke. She pulls down her panties and urinates while carrying on a conversation with them. I’ve never seen a movie that showed someone going to the bathroom that wasn’t atrocious. For a woman to urinate in front of two men as if she were sipping tea with them almost caused me to bolt right there.

At the end of the movie we are forced to sit through what is apparently the theme song. The lyrics are, “There’s nothing like you and I.” Sometimes a songwriter is lazy and is stuck for a rhyme and opts for something ungrammatical like this. However, the previous line is, “There’s nothing like you and I,” and the very next line is, “There’s nothing like you and I.” So being stuck for a rhyme had nothing to do with it. “There’s nothing like you and me” would work just as well, and would have the extra added attraction that it is grammatically correct. Apparently Crystal Magic, which takes credit for the original music, is/are simply illiterate.

The third clue is that the “F” word is used copiously. Everyone uses it. They use it in every sentence. When a screenwriter inserts the “F” word throughout his script it indicates to me that there are few other words he knows.

In between the bathroom scene and the theme song, the story is about people who are on an equal intellectual level. It’s supposed to be a love story between London (Jennifer Biels) and Syd. But it’s impossible to determine why they are in love. She gets mad because he never says “I love you.” They have pseudo-intellectual conversations about the existence of God that is about on the level of the second grade. There’s no discussion of causality and the First Cause, or any of the other commonly proffered proofs of God’s existence. Every time we see them together yell at each other and call each other names. Oh, yeah, there is the scene that is now so common it is de rigueur where they start fighting and end up having sex.

The setting for the movie is an apartment belonging to the parents of 18-year-old friend of London’s to celebrate London going away to live with her new boy friend. Syd crashes the party and brings his drug dealer, Bateman (Jason Statham) along with them. Syd and Bateman immediately go upstairs to the bathroom to snort coke off of a van Gogh painting in the bathroom, where most of the film takes place.

The dialogue is straight out of kindergarten. If this is a typical example of young people today, God help us. Only 92 f---ing minutes long, you might be better f---ing advised to go watch some f---ing clouds drifting by.

February 1, 2006