November 2011: Lapislazuli
In the tradition of science fiction films aimed towards the youth market that was founded in the 80s by films such as Willow and The Neverending Story, then trivialized by movies like Encino Man (California Man outside of the US), we have Lapislazuli – Im Auge des Baeren. (In the eye of the Bear). The basic premise of the story is that a girl was on a holiday with her parents in the mountains when she got lost and found a caveboy who had recently been unearthed and unthawed. The girl and the caveboy become friends and she learns how to bridge their differences, respect another culture and let someone go that she loved. Meanwhile two archaeologists happen upon our caveboy, and decide he’d be a marvelous new addition to their museum and set off to capture him. The one archaeologist, played by Christoph Waltz, is in favor of learning from him and letting him go, where the other one wants to keep him in a cage as a display.
The movie was made in 2006, and honestly, there is no excuse for the racist stereotypes in this film. At one point, the main character (played by a black Aboriginal actor) is dressed in an urban hip-hop outfit with hoodie and baggy pants, yet is carrying a spear. They shoot him with an animal tranquilizer dart, and tie him up to a piece of furniture then seek to cage him. If these were meant to be some kind of statement on the cruelty of the white man against the black man, it is lost in translation and instead appears as every hackneyed cliche about slavery and black people. Unconvincing storylines, a main character whose facial expression were obviously taught at the Kristen Stewart school of acting, and every single trope about cavemen and pre-colonized African nations have been trotted out and put to abuse in this tedious film.
Christoph is underutilized, and despite having the best resolution of all of the characters in the film, is not enough to save this stinker. It rates in the bottom of his catalog, along with the two Mark Roper films and Pact with the Devil. Don’t waste your time. If you want to enjoy Christoph Waltz in this film, I suggest you just look at the screencaps of him and not attempt to sit through it.
With thanks to Wickedground.