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(Review originally written at 19 February 2011)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie left me really unimpressed. Don't you just hate it when a movie is over and it gave you absolutely nothing in the end. It's a real pointless movie, that you can easily do without ever seeing.

Problem really is its story. Not sure if I can say that it's the actual story that is being bad but I think it's more the way it all gets told in this movie. First of all, a young boy starts to befriend an elderly guy and they really have a bond together, basically from the start on already but quite frankly I really can't see why these two like each other so much. Secondly, the movie presents itself as a mystery movie, without ever featuring any mystery. I mean, it's pretty clear from the beginning on that the elderly guy has some sort of clairvoyant powers and the movie doesn't go anywhere with its story that makes this movie a mysterious one. As a matter of fact, the story in the end still leaves more questions than answers, which has nothing to do with the mystery but simply because the movie doesn't bother to explain- or tie up everything.

The movie has a bunch of different story lines thrown together, which make it apparent that this is a movie that got based on a novel. You would think this all would give the movie and its characters some more depth but the movie remains shockingly on the shallow side. Even when the movie gets more dramatic it fails to call out any emotion.

This might all be also very well due to the fact that the movie doesn't really feature a 'problem' that needs to get resolved. Basically the main element in its story is that the FBI is chasing ans searching for the elderly character but this just never hit me as anything threatening. The FBI were supposed to be the bad guys but quite frankly I don't see how they are supposed to be 'evil' in this movie. Apparently the elderly guy escaped from the government/FBI because his clairvoyant powers were being used in the fight against communism (the movie its main story is being set in the '60's) but it's not like it ever becomes apparent as if they were threatening him bad, like torturing him or holding him in a special build cell, or anything like that. Seems that he is just really needed in the 'fight' against communism and how can this be a bad thing? It's not like he had a family at home to take care off or anything better to do with his life because all he does in this movie is sitting on the porch and having a smoke.

Perhaps the movie was more supposed to be a coming of age type of movie, told from the eyes of the young boy but to me the overall movie instead came merely across as a look into the life of a boys most exciting and eventful weeks. But I don't feel like the movie movie its story made the boy go through any transition, like a coming of age movie would normally do. Just because he gets his first kiss doesn't make this a coming of age movie.

Thing that still kept this movie somewhat going was its acting. I really liked Anthony Hopkins and the child actors were also quite good, as far as child acting goes. Anton Yelchin didn't do a very good job with the emotional scenes but other than that he was simply good, as was Mika Boorem, who I have always liked as a young actress.

It's also a quite good looking movie, that does a good job at capturing the look and feel of 1960's, America's Everytown. This is all also really thanks to the nice looking cinematography by Piotr Sobocinski.

So it really is not like this movie is the most horrible thing you'll ever sit through but in the end the movie leaves you puzzled at what it was supposed to be. It doesn't pick one clear approach to its story and it does a bit of everything, with as a result that nothing works out as good or powerful as it was supposed to be and potentially also could had been. It's the reason why this movie is a very forgettable one and even one that by the end just leaves a very redundant impression.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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