For all of Old‘s flaws – and those flaws are bounteous! – it’s a film with energy; a film with life. Shyamalan doesn’t appear to have a firm grasp on this material, but again, he’s trying! He’s trying to give us something different. And these days, that’s the sort of thing we should all be longing for.
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Old, for its part, is quintessential Shyamalan of The Happening mold, a slick, amped-up B movie that hardly ever gives away that it’s in on the joke.
By the time “Old” is over, the strongest feeling it leaves us with is that it just got 108 minutes shorter.
Viewers who can take it at face value may find a chill or two here, but ultimately Old can’t escape the goofiness of its premise long enough to put its more poetic possibilities across successfully.
While Old is certainly a different kind of thriller, with plenty of elements that work to create a sense of tranquility and desperation in equal measure, it grows wearisome as it evades its deeper themes for the thrill of that final discovery.
Old is so playful that even the finale has an extra nature to it; it gives you way more than you thought you were going to get 90 minutes previous.
Old, like most Shyamalan movies, has a catchy hook along with some elegant filmmaking gambits. But instead of developing his premise in an insidious and powerful way, the writer-director just keeps throwing a lot of things at you.
The elements of silliness and deadly seriousness are nicely balanced and although I wasn’t absolutely sure about the ending, which has maybe too neat a bow tied on it, this is just very enjoyable and I was on the edge of my seat, not knowing whether to flinch or laugh, though I did both.
Old isn't M. Night Shyamalan’s best work, but it is one that shows maturity – a movie that tackles universal and intense themes over twists and puzzles.
The most laughably ludicrous and clumsy “explainer” of a third act that Shyamalan has ever served up.