Let’s got silly and dumb this week, shall we?
See, the tonal nightmare GEOSTORM hits theatre this Friday and at the helm? That modern day schlock master himself Dean Devlin!
Now it turns out that Mr. Devlin has not directed any cinematic features except GEOSTORM, so we are going to rank the movies he produced instead as they tend to have a fairly distinct tone and scope even though he was not the one in the director’s chair for most of them.
The Entirely Correct Rankings of Dean Devlin’s Producing Filmography
Special Consideration: Who Killed the Electric Car?- Devlin is credited as an Executive Producer on this which can often denote a fairly limited involvement. Plus, it is a documentary that bears none of his fingerprints. That said, it is an interesting documentary so I didn’t want to ignore it.
Omission: Transit- I have never seen this Israeli film and could not find it to watch for this list. It has decent reviews though.
9.) Independence Day: Resurgence- Garbage.
8.) Godzilla- Loud, dumb, and terribly plotted with performances marked mostly be the shutdown vacant eyes of actors who know this will pay for their home if they can just make it to the end.
7.) The Patriot- Jingoistic and bombastic, this movie has aged badly. Given its themes and its star, there are a lot of reasons to like it in today’s modern political landscape. However, don’t get it confused. It was bad from the start.
6.) Flyboys- A World War I movie that feels utterly disconnected from its era, this movie has some pretty roughly CGI for 2006, flat characters, and an outright hostility for historical accuracy.
5.) The Wannabe- An undercooked mob true story movie, Patricia Arquette is probably the only reason to see it. The rest is pretty bland.
4.) Independence Day- The height of the Devlin/Emmerich collaborative relationship, this is dumb in the right ways. Will Smith is a burst of charisma, Jeff Goldblum is just off-kilter enough, the effects are good, and Pullman’s speech is the stuff of bombastic legend. It’s bloated and too long, but it’s too fun while it unspools to notice.
3.) Eight Legged Freaks- A humorous take on the classic “oversized insect” (yes I know spiders aren’t actually insects) this one bounds along with an exuberant energy and some game performances that manage to be knowing without being too in on the joke.
2.) Cellular- I have a weakness for this small thriller that has a pre-Captain America Chris Evans unable to ignore situation he should when he gets a random phone call from someone who needs help. I am probably overrating it by putting it this high, but it remains the only Devlin film that doesn’t feel like a chore to commit to rewatching, even if I end up enjoying those movies once I do watch them.
1.) Stargate- The mythology of this movie is so unnecessarily complicated. The roles are so stereotyped. The effects so very much of the era. But there is something about it, a sense of “we are all at summer camp making a movie” run and gun fun. The budget is way too big for that, granted, but everyone seems committed to the bit and committed to just moving so fast that the fun always keeps out ahead of the logic.