Some tips for Shyamalan:
1) breaking the 4th wall once or twice with a witty line or two can be fun. Doing it blatantly in a too-long scene where you give your movie critic a silly monologue while he’s facing a hell beast, isn’t.
2) don’t cast yourself as a writer or artist, especially a writer or artist Messiah. It’s just bad form. In fact, don’t write about writers who are “special.” It’s like Stephen King writing himself into the The Dark Tower series, or writing his own experiences into Kingdom Hospital. You ruin my suspension of disbelief, and for a tall tale like the one you’re telling, I really need a suspension of disbelief
Cheesyness and self-referential dick-sucking aside, I enjoyed this movie. I did. But then, I liked The Village. So take my opinion with a grain of salt.
Say what you want about Shyamalan, but the guy knows how to write great characters. He’s helped by great casts, but his characters are all sympathetic. You like them. You feel for them. You want them to succeed. And it’s pretty tough to get cynical people to care about people while they’re watching a summer movie.
The more media I ingest, the more I realize that you can have your characters doing any insane weird shit you want – fighting off dogs made of grass, getting picked up by giant eagles, living their lives in showers – and if you love the people, you’ll go along with it. Just give them something they want, and we’re all along for the ride, hoping they get it.
Even if what they want is to stare long and hard at M. Night Shyamalan and then hang around by the pool until they get picked up by a giant bird.