Thursday 24 July 2008

Film Review: Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Movie

Adaptations of best-selling books are all the rage, with recent examples including Brick Lane, Atonement and College Road Trip. Now, Lynne Truss’s popular Eats, Shoots and Leaves has received the big-screen treatment, and – I’m told – a tie-in video game is not far behind.

Directed by John Woo, Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Movie stars Kate Hudson as Lynne, a young writer and pedant who uncovers a cabal of evil pandas who are plotting to take over the world. The despicable Chinese bears are planning to remove commas, insert apostrophes and place superfluous parentheses in sentences around the world in order to create anarchy and chaos. When the time is right, the pandas will seize the moment and take over the Earth, unless Lynne can stop them.

From start to finish, Eats, Shoots and Leaves is an action-packed cockroar of a film. Some of the scenes in which Lynne and her love interest (played by Shia LeBeouf) are being chased through L.A. by a rogue inessential exclamation mark are stunning examples of high-quality CGI. But this is so much more than a straightforward mindless action flick. Woo has really got the best out of his lead actors, and both Hudson and LeBeouf really convey the fear and confusion that arises when one sees the phrase “Pizza’s” on a restaurant menu. There are times when this film filled me with the same sadness that I felt when I realised my son couldn’t tell the difference between the words “effect” and “affect”.

My main concern with Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Movie is that fans of the book may be disappointed with some of the film’s omissions. While there is an entire chapter of ES&L devoted to text speak, there is nothing on the subject in the film. Several movie websites have speculated that this is due in part to the film’s obvious sponsorship by Motorola (who must have paid for all the film’s characters to be using Motorola cell phones). Whether this is true or not, I can’t say, but it can’t have been too hard for the writers to add a scene in which the pandas say “lol” or “double-you tee eff”.

On the other hand, fans of Lynne Truss’s highly anal book will love the ending. While it would be bad form for me to divulge what happens, I can say that it involves a final answer to the long-standing war between proponents and opponents of the serial comma.

In summary, Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Movie gets lots of stars out of a possible more. If you only see one film this year, you’re an artless philistine who shouldn’t be reading The Imaginary Review. For everyone else, this is a great way to spend a barrel of popcorn.

Eat's: Shoot's; and Leaves's:-:The Movie'll be not unreleased on august Fourth. Do'nt forget to get nacho's & frie'z.


ÄsK AliCë said...

Double-you tee eff!?! No text speak? Well I, for one, am outraged.

Let's boycott this movie. Although it does sound deliciously entertaining...

Mo said...

I'm sorry, I had something really clever to say, and then your use of the word "cockroar" made me completely lose my train of thought. Cockroar? Cockroar?!

You never cease to amaze me with your linguistic brilliance.

Jillian said...

Yes, "cockroar" got me too. You crack me up, IR.

I loved the book, I'm sure I'll love the movie. I suspect the pandas win in the end, though. They are so cute, even if they are evil, we would change our whole effin language if it made them smile and roll around and eat bamboo...see I'm going all melty already.,,>>>'"")(*}},,'

Falwless said...


Red said...

Um, sounds like someone lost the plot here because this sounds nothing like the book. The book was all about a hilarious yet lonely lesbian woman who wrote letters to Tony Blair and then tried to assassinate him. However, since it stars Shia, I'll totally check it out.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

AA: I'd stay away from Lynne Truss, if I were you.

Mo & Jill: Many thanks! My earlier attempts to get the word "Apewail" internationally recognised (see an earlier review) failed, so I thought I'd try something new.

Fal: Hearty apologies, I'll do something really special next year! (And I'm still away, I just have ten minutes of Internet time right now)

Red: Are you thinking of another book? Possibly, Sheets, Oots and Peas, by Lynne Bus?