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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Movie Review


2 stars

“Ground control to Major Tom, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong.”

Indeed there is something wrong with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. In this Ben Stiller directed adaptation of James Thurber’s 1939 short story; Stiller seems to miss his mark. Let us pause for a moment, grab a time machine, and go back to the premieres of both Zoolander and Tropic Thunder, so that fans may continue to bask in the comedic success and height of Ben Stiller’s directorial career. Unfortunately, with Walter Mitty, the ambition is shot far too high, with the result that just isn’t quite so efficient.

Now, not to be the bearer of bad news, but what this film really hits the nail on the head on, it completely lacks in other areas. With a plot seeming to rely solely on one character, the supporting cast is left in the dark, without an extensive amount of development, lacking an opportunity to do so. With that lack of development, creates a major conflict with the film, with characters that are incredibly one dimensional, and are casted as to only be “name-fillers,” and “attention-grabbers.” Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, and Sean Penn are the main culprits, be it their faults, or the casting director, or screenplay writer Steve Conrad’s.

As an employee of Life Magazine, Walter (Stiller) plays the role of Negative Asset Manager, who has been given the role of managing the photographs chosen for the cover of the magazine. The magazine, having recently been acquired a group of contemporary owners; decide to shut down the print version of the magazine, in hopes of taking the company completely digital, with an online-only distribution. Walter, while trying to juggle the sorely overused conflict of talking to his office romance Cheryl Melhoff (Wiig), is given a roll of film from famed field photographer (say that five times fast) Sean O’Connell, in which contains the photograph O’Connell has chosen for the final cover of the magazine.

Surprisingly enough, the negative of the selected photograph is not in the roll, causing Walter to set out on an epic journey to locate O’Connell and retrieve the elusive item. Thus comes the more appreciative aspect of the film. Throughout the journey, Walter is forced to realize that throughout his life, he never personified the vision of himself that he created years prior, resulting in a semi-intriguing, yet still underachieving voyage of self-discovery, and identity creation.

While the film hinges on the performance of Stiller, it only does just that, as it has little to no help from its supporting cast. Kristen Wiig, and Adam Scott provide no cohesion to Stiller, as they seem to be stereotypical representations of a corporate America douchebag (Scott) and the typical middle-aged woman with an identity crisis worse than Stiller’s (Wiig). One thing can be said for Sean Penn however, who is only in the film a mere few minutes representing a fatherly figure to Stiller, which completely meshes and works.

All-in-all, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty doesn’t deliver. With themes that seem to not completely manifest themselves, a cast that is less than satisfactory, and a title that seems to leave a lot open to the imagination, little can be done for the film. Also, I might add, Adam Scott looks absolutely ridiculous in full-face beard.


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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG for some crude comments, language and action violence.
114 mins
: Ben Stiller
: Steve Conrad
Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly
: Comedy | Adventure | Drama
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Memorable Movie Quote: "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life."
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Official Site: www.waltermitty.com
Release Date:
December 25, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available

Synopsis: An office worker who lives inside fantasy worlds where he gets to live an adventurous life while romancing his co-worker sets off a global journey to fix things when both of their jobs are threatened.


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