The Aviator or How to ruin everything by not giving answers for over an hour

February 04, 2005

As you may have gathered, I saw “The Aviator”, the newest movie by Martin Scorcese, who also gave us “Gangs of New York”, a movie which was in fact really, really bad. I won’t go into detail here, but I think it’s enough to note that I’ve seen van Damme movies where I cared more about the fate of the characters. And van Damme movies do it in about 90 minutes. “Gangs of New York” didn’t manage that in a whopping 166 minutes. “The Aviator” tried even three minutes longer, but in the end, it was all in vain. As much as I wanted to really like “The Aviator”, because I’ve seen movies by Scorsese which were great, I simply couldn’t. I liked the first two thirds, but that didn’t cut the cheese, as some people tend to say (not me usually, but hey, what would life be without some phrasal adventures?).
Scorsese portrayed Hughes as an obsessive compulsive maniac, but although the movie was about 60 minutes longer than necessary, he wasn’t able to give an answer for Hughes’ mental disfunction, except that his mother used to wash him when he was young, while telling him about the dangers of epidemics (shown in a three-minute scene). Which in my eyes shouldn’t really trigger that serious a case of insanity. Except of course if she had washed him ten times a day, and let him memorize a medical textbook on transmittable diseases. But she didn’t. At least we didn’t see that in the movie. If maybe Scorsese had decided to show a bit more of Hughes’ youth and less of di Caprio pissing into milk-bottles, the whole affair would have made more sense. But like this, it’s just a movie about a guy who liked to build planes and sometimes had affairs with movie-stars, and who had the habit of repeating sentences approximately a houndred times and then staring into space while cupping his mouth. Which leads me to the conclusion, that Jean-Claude van Damme should have gotten an Oscar about 15 years ago.