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Million Dollar Baby

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Orson Scott Card says it better than I can, but . . .
I succumbed to the hype (and Snookums' birthday wishes) and went to see Million Dollar Baby. Ugh. One star out of five. There are some amusing moments, but not nearly enough of them. Overall, I came away from the movie feeling unclean. OK, here's the deal. I go to movies to be entertained. I do not enjoy spending two hours watching suffering, a taste of success, and then have everything come crashing down. That's what this movie is, however. Million Dollar Baby is also glacially slow at most points, to the extent that you're sitting there wondering what Clint is trying to do in a particular scene, rather than being fully engaged in the movie.

And, the ending. Oh, the ending. If you don't want to be spoiled, stop reading here.

Spoiler warning.

Last chance.

OK, here's the "surprise" ending. The boxer girl Maggie has finally reached the World Championship match. The current World Champion is the queen of dirty boxers. After the bell rings for round #2, Maggie turns and goes to her corner, is sucker punched by the champ, falls into the upturned stool, and breaks her neck, leaving her a quadraplegic. OK, I'm still with the movie at this point. I'm asking myself, how is Clint going to make this good? Well, the short answer is, Clint doesn't. After forty-five excruciating minutes (but not for the reason Clint wanted, they were just s l o w), Clint decides to send Maggie to the great beyond. Takes off her breathing tube, then squirts her with a syringe full of adrenaline. Then Clint just vanishes. Goes away. That's it. End of movie. Roll the credits. Collect the awards. Feh.

I'm not that worked up about the whole euthanasia thing, really. It's just that this movie is so slow and ham-handed in how it approaches the final coup de injection that all emotional punch is lost well before the final moment. Sorry, critics, this is just bad movie-making. Bad. Bad, do you hear? BAD!