Michael Crichton | Critical Review by David Denby

This literature criticism consists of approximately 2 pages of analysis & critique of Michael Crichton.
This section contains 371 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by David Denby

Critical Review by David Denby

SOURCE: "The Wizards of ID," in New York Magazine, Vol. 14, No. 45, November 16, 1981, p. 118.

In the following excerpt, Denby unfavorably reviews Looker.

Will Michael Crichton ever make a really good movie? Crichton, the author of The Andromeda Strain and other scientific-medical thrillers and the director of Westworld, Coma, and The Great Train Robbery, is a clever fellow with a talent for conventional suspense and a fondness for slightly bizarre stories about technology run amok. The Great Train Robbery, his most assured work as a director, was overpadded and smug, but at least it had some big-movie sweep and detail, and its Victorian setting took Crichton away from his machinery fetish—the computer screens and dials, the research-lab corridors. But now, in Looker, Crichton is back in the corridor: Half the movie consists of people stalking up and down holding black ray guns out in front of them.

Looker is a TV movie with skin. Albert Finney, formerly an attractive and accomplished human being and now a zombie, brings his dead voice, his baggy eyes and heavy gut (which he tries to hold in with a look of pained boredom) to the role of a successful Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who performs tiny adjustments on the features of girls acting in TV commercials. It seems that a large corporation uses these paragons as models in commercials made with computer-animation techniques. Once the girl is copied by the computer, the corporation has her killed off. (Why, I wonder? But never mind.) Since these commercials are the type that manipulate the audience subliminally, Crichton probably intends some sort of attack on the sinister effect of television, but what we actually see is yet another offering in the endless stream of movies about gorgeous girls—models or actresses or coeds or nurses—being stalked or raped or terrorized or flung about and killed. The dominant image here is of a nude blonde falling out of her apartment in slow motion. The beautiful-girl-in-danger has become the schlock-moviemaking obsession of our day. Only Brian De Palma has raised it to the level of art, and I wish to God he'd make some other kind of movie.

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This section contains 371 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by David Denby
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