I never thought it was true what they say, that your life flashes before your eyes when you have a near-death experience. But there I was, dangling off the edge of a cliff, without my pants, surrounded by magpies trying to peck me to death, and sure enough, my entire life started to play out before me.
The only problem was that whoever the director was, they really loved shaky cam. Honestly, if it wasn’t good in the Bourne movies, who thought it would be good to use over my third-grade musical? I was a fire ant singing about life in the colony, but I swear with the amount of shaky cam and color correction there was, it felt like I was one explosion short of a Michael Bay film. Whoever was putting together the life flashback montages didn't really have the best taste.
When I saw my high school years, there was that full-on, slow-motion scene when I saw a cheerleader walk in. What the hell! I know that’s not how that moment really played out. We were inside, and realistically, there could not have been that much wind blowing in her hair.
Also, I knew that girl. We were friends and I didn’t like her like that. But whoever the director was, I guess they wanted me to be the main character of a John-Hughes-style movie or something. He didn’t include any of the nights I spent studying or my academic achievements. Instead, there were what felt like one hundred clips of me and my friends throwing eggs at a McDonalds, as if to imply my entire high school career was filled with antics and not just that one singular antic when we got too drunk once.
Also, he made some cuts that I think didn’t help develop my character at all. One scene featured my last big fight with my father, where I tell him I deserve respect and don’t need to be treated like a child.
Then BAM: smash cut. We go into a series of scenes of the worst decisions in my life: dropping out of college, buying a motorcycle, then going back to college to get an English degree.
It was almost like whoever the director was thought this montage of my life could really use some comedy. The genre was all off. You know how disheartening it is to be nearly dead and then have a flashback to see that for your entire life, the joke was on you? It paints the world in a pretty grey light.
I started to wonder if whoever was directing wanted me to let go of the cliff.
The only redeeming quality of the montage was the reveal that I was never really on the cliff: it was all a dream. Honestly, I never saw it coming. I’m usually in the camp of thinking that the “it was all a dream” twist ending is played out, but credit where it’s due: this one was masterfully done. It felt like I was watching Inception for the first time again. It felt like I woke up and finally understood Tenet somehow.
I give the whole thing two out of five stars.
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