Reviewer’s grade: D
Random people in New York City are acting weird and start killing themselves by jumping off buildings and stabbing themselves in the neck. The media whips up the panic and confusion by speculating that some sort of chemical or biological weapon and a terrorist plot are to blame for the phenomenon, which seems to activate (or deactivate) some brain chemical, inspiring people to commit suicide.
Nice-guy science teacher Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) decides to get out of town with his math teacher buddy Julian (John Leguizamo), who has offered up his mom’s house in Philadelphia as a retreat from the happening. Moore scoops up his wife, Alma (Zooey Deschanel”), and boards a train to Philly with Julian and his young daughter. There isn’t much to redeem “The Happening,” because not much is actually happening.
Both Wahlberg and Leguizamo turn in stale performances, and perhaps most offensively, the watery eyed Deschanel, who usually exudes quirky charm and unexplainable camera magnetism, is among the least happening. R