Posted December 22, 2013 by editor in Film Reviews

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty Review


Ben Stiller throws his hat in the “Feel Good” human story drama for this year with this big budget remake. Walter Mitty (stiller) works for Life magazine which is about to shut down its print production. It is Walter’s job to get the negative of the chosen photograph for the cover and get it processed for publication. The problem is that the negatives sent in by the photographer (Sean Penn) seams to have gone missing.

The main focus on Walter at the start of the film is his lonely existence, his crush on a colleague (the ever working Kristen Wiig), his rather stalkerish approach to meeting her on a dating website, and his sudden bursts of daydreaming where the budget of the film are generally spent. But with his job in the balance, thanks to company douche (Adam Scott), Walter takes a chance on himself and sets out to track down the photographer and in the process injects a little life back into his otherwise miserable existence.

This is not so much of the Gravity/ All Is Lost human story variety, but much more the comedy version of Forest Gump.  Stiller handles his budget well and can balance drama and gags in his films, but all too often the drama needed a script polish and here the film suffers from having human logic issues with the “real world” side of the drama. The escapist part of the film is fine, if only to support the fact that Mitty has trouble paying attention.

What is key to this film is that it is a complete fantasy.  And we are not talking about the flights of fantasy that Walter’s mind goes on when he lets his mind distract himself (almost always in mid conversation with others). No we are talking about the supposed real life elements.  For example: A woman that has just met you properly does not invite you along to go pick up her kid from school. Online dating websites do not call you up several times to pep talk you through your online profile. Adam Scott really would not sport such a ridiculous beard in real life that puts Wes Bentley’s in The Hunger Games to shame. The less said about the logistics of Walter’s travel antics the better. We really should point also out that we doubt any magazine would select its cover photo in the way shown here?  Usually the image is agreed upon or the photographer is told what to shoot. Photographers that dictate magazine covers and go about it so cryptically are very slim indeed. But the film wants a little bit of mystery surrounding the picture, which in all honesty just made it all the more predictable.

2 Stars




Steven Hurst