One-fifth of the film is worth watching, the rest is trash
- Who's going to like it: people who’ve never seen a good movie before, people who like to be bored and elementary school teachers (read below for a further explanation on why)
How can a film about one the most brave women in American history be so boring? I’ll tell you how – show mostly the parts of her life that do not define her, the parts that nobody knows-slash-cares about. And tell the story is the most juvenile, amateur way – write the women as male characters and vice versa.
We all know the ending to Amelia Earhart’s story – kinda – so I guess that’s the reason why the filmmakers wanted to show us what she was like aside from being a pilot. The majority of the film is lagged down in telling the love story between Amelia (Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry) and publisher George Putnam (Richard Gere, Pretty Woman), and her affair with businessman Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor, Star Wars). The problem with the telling of this story is that no chemistry exists between any of the couples. They are all so dry together that you never once buy that any of these relationships actually work. And with a script with as much bad dialogue as Amelia has, it’s even hard to believe the things that do work.
Hollywood is already boosting her Swank’s performance as being an Oscar contender, but I wholeheartedly disagree. This may be Swank’s worst performance to date. Her character is inconsistent – at times she plays it with a stylized 1930s voice, other times not. The shift occurs without warning or reason throughout the entire film. The simple truth is that Amy Adams’ portrayal of Amelia Earhart in the absurd sequel to Night At The Museum was more convincing than Swank’s – Adams at least chose a character, stuck with it and had fun. I don’t know what Swank was going for here.
The only part of the film worth watching is the last twenty minutes. The filmmakers don’t create an ending to try to explain what happened to Earhart’s plane. Instead, they present the facts and let it be. But the events leading up to the planes disappearance are interesting, even creating an intensity that’s completely absent in the rest of the film. Other than that finale, the film is a complete waste of time.
Amelia is one of those somewhat “educational” historical films that lazy elementary school teachers across the country will show in class just to eat up two hours of teaching time. Anyone who grew up in the ’80s knows how bad those movies were that they showed to us in school. Amelia is equally as bad – making it a perfectly worthy choice for those teachers to use.
Photo credit: Fox Searchlight
(1 out of 5)