By Fred Topel | Image property of New Line Cinema.
The Last Mimzy
It's Donnie Darko for kids. That won't help New Line market The Last Mimzy, but that’s what they've made. Bravo for challenging our youth to understand a complex sci-fi tale where not everything is completely spelled out for you. The children that haven't already been left behind will appreciate it.
Movie Review: The Last Mimzy
The Wilder family seems pretty average. Dad (Timothy Hutton) works too much and mom (Joely Richardson) laments the kids' independence already. Noah (Chris O'Neill) and Emma (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) have something bigger going on though. They find a strange device on the beach and learn to use it to make things float and open portals in their immediate space. And it makes Emma's stuffed animal, Mimzy, talk to her. Ultimately, the kids cause an event that gets the attention of homeland security and the parents are forced to confront their kids' abilities.
That's the most concise nutshell I could think of. There's so much going on in this movie. They've also got teachers who are into all the new wave spirituality so they encourage the kids. Noah starts drawing complex religious symbols freehand and communing with insects. I'm just making it sound weirder but it really all comes together.
The great thing is that all the powers and manifestations are subtle. There's no big wizard battle or talking animals. They just teleport something further than it should normally go, or glimpse into a world that raises more questions than answers. There is some CGI but it's only to make the stones spin or the shapes appear in the air.
There are probably some things that don't totally connect but I'm so floored by a kids movie that demands as much intellect as The Matrix that all I'm seeing right now is brilliance.
The most noticeable flaws are purely technical filmmaking. Some of the angles of shots are awkward and some of the cuts don't seem to quite flow. But those are things probably only I would notice, being someone who watches films every day. It wouldn't take a casual viewer out of the story.
The fact that this was all helmed by a studio chief is even more amazing. You'd think an executive would want the safest, most marketable material possible. Bob Shaye has taken all the risks a film can, and I hope it pays off. We need more movies like The Last Mimzy.