Saturday, July 12, 2008
Although the lion's share of blame for M Night Shayamalan's "The Happening" rests with -M Night Shaymalan, there are other guilty parties. The whole experience wouldn't have been quite the same, for instance, without one Mark Wahlberg. I will resist the urge to jump on the bandwagon here with a "bunch" of "good vibration" jokes, the crimes he committed in the name of funkiness and designer underwear he will pay for for the rest of his life. As well he should. My beef is that I have difficulty with the idea of him as an action star, and there are two reasons why I can never accept him as such.
1) His voice
Mark Wahlberg speaks in a sort of wavering falsetto whine that is perhaps better described by the word "whimper". Instead of delivering dialogue with the tight-lipped urgency required by a lines like "WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE NOW!", every line is instead spoken roughly the same way someone might say "Hey, how did this mustard get on my shirt?"
2) His eyebrows
Traditional action stars have low set brows, which press sternly downward where they meet in the center. This expression says: "I'm in control and determined to succeed!"
Mark Wahlberg's brows cast up towards the center of his forehead, and it is there that much furrowing takes place, rendering an expression that is not unlike that which is found on a basset hound.
This has the effect of conveying a person who is overwhelmed with cowardly panic, in so far over their head and so deeply, painfully aware of their own personal shortcomings that they might just give in and start blubbering at any moment, giving away how pathetically ineffective they really are. See below.