storm of the century
Reviewed by Diane Squires
Rating: 7 Beans
HIS CONTAINS SPOILERS, SORRY
I know, I know this was really a miniseries, not a movie, but hey they'll release it on video eventually, and that's good enough for me.
Apparently, Stephen King has been wanting to figure out a way to force his fans sit through six hours of commercials for some time now. At last, he has realized his dream.
Storm of the Century is the longest, slowest story ever told. It takes four and a half hours for a plot to even begin to take shape. When it does, you will be VERY disappointed, and VERY angry that you waited through this Wagnerian-Opera length insomnia-cure for something that trite.
Here's the deal- as in every Stephen King novel ever written, we are introduced to a small community of isolated people. As always, the locale is somewhere in the Northeast and it is cold there. One day a mysterious stranger named Linoge turns up. He whacks an old lady to death with his cane, and is locked up in jail. He happens to turn up during a killer storm, so no one from the mainland can reach the island to move the plot along any faster.
For four, count 'em four- and you will count every single second that passes- hours straight, basicly nothing happens. Linoge glowers in jail, people flip out and kill each other, and Linoge says "Give me what I want and I'll go away". After twenty minutes, I was ready to call Stephen King and ask what he wanted to make this film go away. I spent most of the next six hours speculating about cool things that Linoge might want- all the Twinkies in town, a brand new knitted hat, to have MTV air actual videos again like they used to etc... Unfortunately, our buddy seems to have a lot of spare time on his hands so he wastes our time as well, by sitting, brooding and speculating about the nasty secrets that you just know everyone in town has gotta have. He kills some people too, but after the first couple times it happens, you stop caring. Hell, with about sixty main characters, I couldn't even keep track of them much less care what happened to them.
At the end of the second installment, one interesting thing finally happened. Mike Anderson (Tim Daly), constable and hero du jour, discovers that Linoge's name is really an anagram for Legion. Legion is the biblical equivalent of the Borg- a collective gang of demons too numerous to name, who were defeated by Jesus Christ. Biblical demons sounded pretty promising to me. I figured the conclusion would have to be pretty darned inventive for them to beat a guy like that. So I decided to keep watching. Big mistake.
Here is the spoilage...
Linoge wants a kid. That's it. Any random-ass kid will do just fine. Of course we all know that he'll end up with the hero's kid, but that's just the way these things go. Now since Linoge has been snatching people since the second installment, I am pretty pissed off, because he could have grabbed a kid then and saved me three hours of precious time. I will also note that the whole Legion thing is completely dropped. The biblical Legion did not want a kid. Stephen King has done a one-eighty on me and fobbed off some random evil wizard off on me as a demon. What a gyp. I feel used.
For the last hour and a half our hero argues with the town- including his annoying L.L. Bean clone wife- about whether it is right to hand over a kid to an evil wizard. Do I get a battle royal with town versus wizard? Oh, no. They take almost an hour to cave, but once they do they cave fast. Everyone makes meaningful speeches to the effect of " If we do not give in now, it would take another hour to resolve the plot, and the audience is getting sick of this crap". Left with only twenty minutes to go, Linoge leaves us cringing with irritation as he holds a Lottery (black stone and all, for all you literature fans out there) to select his lucky victim. Guess who is the last to reveal their stone? Guess who goes? well, it's good riddance to Ralphie , son of our hero and also the most annoying character we've met so far. Just like we knew would happen. Who cares.
In later years, we see Ralphie walking hand in hand with Linoge. Once again it is the most likable character who is doomed to suffer in the end. Poor Linoge.
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