Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When Worlds Collide (1951)

I have a love-hate relationship with George Pal. Most of the time I start watching his movies and realizes once again that he’s pompous religious fool with morals that probably even felt old-fashioned when the movies where made, but then I often revisit the movie some time later and enjoys it more than I should too. Maybe I just need to experience that first burst of anger, analyze it and then look beyond the stupidity the second time.

My biggest complain with When Worlds Collide is actually the lack of disasters. There’s one cool sequence in the middle with a lot of cool miniature-mayhem and even some flood-footage that was used in the Christopher Lee-movie End of the World, but that’s it. Even the final scene when the planets collide is quite weak and don’t deliver enough mayhem for my taste. It’s more about the human drama before and under the disaster, which is quite OK but very naïve.

Well, the whole movie is naïve. From this idea that a rocket will movie people to another planet in just a few hours to the idealistic newspapers headlines how humanity gets together with face their destiny (the panic never really happens, except a few guys at the end), prays to god and behaves like the proud race we definitely not are in reality. But the building of the rocket and some other visual effects is very nice to look at, if that counts.

What bothers me more is the religious theme in the movie. I have nothing against religion in movies, if there’s some kinda criticism, not just blind faith – which tends to be very silly after a while. Here the movie opens with shot some ancient bible and some words about end of the world. People pray and talk about god, humanity (as mention above) turns to their myths and legends to seek comfort and the weird thing is that only 44 people cane be taken away from earth and find a new home in “heaven”, which reminds me a lot about the 144 000 people Jehova’s Witnesses whines about all the time. In the end our completely white gang (no room for blacks, Hispanics, Asians on this brave new world) of survivors arrives to a planet which feels so heavenly it’s absurd.

But sure, this is a movie I watch for the sci-fi elements, the disaster scenes and the completely ridiculous amount of silly dialogue. And shit, it was a long time since I saw people smoke so much in a movie! I hope they brought some good lung cancer-experts with them to the planet Zyra!

Ah, it’s a fun movie. I can’t deny that. Wattya think?

1 comment:

Crippa said...

For me, the miniature work was the highlight of the movie, but I agree that they should have put more disasters in there! Not terribly exciting, but I enjoyed it.

BTW, very nice new header for the site!