Criss Angel implodes
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Just watched Criss Angel's escape from an imploding building and.. what can I say...? He promised it would be his last "life threatening" escape and that's a good thing.
You have to compare his escape to Copperfield's similar effect from years ago, and though Copperfield's wasn't live it had the same premise, executed in a slightly more credible manner, with a more magical finish.
Copperfield had us believe that he was trapped inside a safe when the building imploded. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn't... who knows... it left a tinge of mystery before he reappeared in a spectacular fashion on a solid sheet of steel supported by saw horses.
Angel had us believe that he was on the roof, calmly trying to unpick locks when he knew he was way behind schedule. Instead of panicking, trying to kick the door open, or find another way out, he was fiddling with each lock, carefully putting lock picks back in his pockets when suddenly the cameras all went off and the building imploded.
Why didn't we see the explosion from inside of the building through the remote cameras? The answer is obvious and reveals the method used. Which is a pity. So we were left to believe that Criss was on the top floor of the six storey building, unprotected (not even by a safe), when it blew.
Then, in an extremely undramatic finish (appropriate perhaps for an escape that didn't purport to be magic) he was spotted walking towards the camera about 100' in front of the rubble. Not climbing out of the rubble (which would have worked if he was allegedly superhuman) but walking up, a little dusty, in front of the imploded building.
His brother rushed up to him and hugged him. Did he say "What the $@&# happened?" No. just "Are you okay?" The escape attempt apparently failed, his brother survived a six storey building implosion, and neither he, nor the show's host... or anyone... asked "What happened?"
To have TV viewers served up this level of television magic, and ask them to swallow it, really is a nail in the coffin of magic on TV.
I'm a fan of Criss Angel, I think he's come up with some amazing effects and - sometimes - his use of the medium is justified. But in this case, I think he's overstepped the mark. He can't possibly think the escape will fool anyone except the most trusting of viewers. Maybe those who think the WWE is real will be impressed... he presented a meandering "trick" devoid of magic that really requires the viewers to "BELIEVE".
In a word... disappointing.