Shutter Island: DiCaprio and Scorsese Can’t Fix Bad Screenplay

When we saw the trailer for Shutter Island, we both agreed it would be a movie we wanted to see. It had been ages since we had the crap scared out of us or seen a really good mystery.

We both like Leonardo DiCaprio and I especially like Martin Scorsese movies.

Nancy said we had to go to an early matinée so when we came out there was still daylight.  She didn’t want to go home in the dark, she was so convinced that Shutter Island would be that intense.

It was a really nice day and I didn’t want to waste it sitting inside a dark theater so we compromised and went to the four o’clock showing.

What a waste of time and money. I not only didn’t like the movie, worse yet, I actually thought it was boring. There was at least a half dozen times I just put my head back and listened to the dialog drone on.

This was a screenplay that written backwards from a great idea for an ending. The last plot twist was excellent. (No spoilers.)  The end of the movie left me wondering where the truth was. Nice. But truly a forgettable movie.

But getting to the point of the movie was painful.

If I was the film editor, I could have cut this movie down from 138 minutes to at least 100 minutes and still maintained the story line. It probably would have improved the flow and been a better movie.

There was not one scary part. I can state this for a fact because I have no bruises from where Nancy grabbed one of my body parts. She agreed that it was a disappointing effort.

Even the special effects were pretty lame.

Leonardo DiCaprio was convincing as a tormented man whose mind was twisted and turned inside out. Ben Kingsley as the antagonist is just OK.

From the trailer and pre-publicity, you will know this is the story of a U.S. Marshal sent to an island for the criminally insane to investigate the disappearance of an inmate/patient.

Go see Shutter Island if you like a plot that takes forever to develop and an ending that is fairly routine. Better yet, rent any other DiCaprio or Scorcese movie and save your money for a better movie.

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Shutter Island: DiCaprio and Scorsese Can’t Fix Bad Screenplay — 3 Comments

  1. I just came back from seeing “Shutter Island” and it’s not scary, nor is it’s aim to be. There are some graphic moments, but nothing that’ll make you keep the night light on at night. It is an awesome movie and can’t recommend it enough for you to see it.

  2. I cannot disagree more with this article. First of all, as an opinionated editorial-review standpoint, you did an under-developed job of addressing the counter-arguments, or your subject of the screenplay- instead, you attacked the movie, it’s actors, and director based off of your pre-interpretations of what the movie would, or “should” be like- and claiming to be able to cut the movie down better is not only immature, but a signal of bad journalism. When you claim that there is a “bad screenplay”, make sure you actually discuss the screenplay in question. But, then again, I am not here to address your preferred prose.
    Shutter Island did not arise from the hype of being a ‘scary’ movie; rather, it made it’s first statements as a psychological thriller. You state how the film moves slow, and that the dialogue tended to ‘drone’- but if one had actually actively participated in listening to DiCaprio’s ‘droning’ dialogue, one would be equally enthralled in the inner-workings of Daniels’ mind- the complexities of his emotional trials, and his haunted nature. His break with reality only highlights the drama of human fantasy- and the way the movie networked around two worlds at once flowed with modern class. By distracting the audience with the ‘escaped’ patient, the screenwriter was able to construct Daniels’ mental capacity to be able to shred every fiber of anything he thought he knew. Laeta Kalogridis utilized her brightest available colors to paint a vibrant watercolor of blacks and blues, then doused water all over it in the final scenes- erasing any hint of admiration or thoughts of Daniels succeeding, and flooding the minds of the viewers with waves of sorrow and sympathy. Scorsese works to connect his audience with the characters by providing open dialogue and a wide-flow of thoughts. He evaluates his scene, and works to not only address the primary plot, but the secondary as well.
    To claim that this movie is not worth the bill is illogical. It is, by far, one of DiCaprio’s most stunning performances, and a fantastic portrait of a haunted mind. It is a story of denial and mystery, and to toss it over one’s shoulder would be to ignore basic film etiquette. Shutter Island definitely stands on a land mass of it’s own- and to presume otherwise without proper evaluation would only appear juvenile.