John Leguizamo may be a great actor, but his presence in a movie is not a guarantor of quality; for every Carlito’s Way there are far too many Spawns. So while the idea of Leguizamo teaming up with Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel on M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening might sound promising, remember that some people once thought he was perfectly cast as Luigi to Bob Hoskins’s Mario.
There’s also the Shyamalan quandary. I haven’t been able to make it past page twenty of The Happening (even though a few enlightened folks have claimed it’s better than his last few screenplays), but I do want to believe Night is capable of being shamed. I thought the rejection of Lady in the Water would deflate the guy’s pomposity, but he seems to have adopted the misunderstood genius posturing. And if he thinks one (very unfunny) self-deprecating appearance on Entourage counts as penance, he’s even further gone than I thought.
Where was I? Oh, right! John Leguizamo. So, yeah, Ol’ Mambo Mouth will play Wahlberg’s best friend in this sci-fi thriller about an ecological disaster threatening to bring the curtain down hard on humankind. I do hope Shyamalan’s found a way to work killer bees into this. Giant rats would be good, too. And killer rabbits. Basically, Night needs to make this movie a highlight reel of all the best parts from The Swarm, Food of the Gods and Night of the Lepus. ‘Cuz if he doesn’t, I will.