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Published On: Fri, Dec 6th, 2013

‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ Review: Ben Stiller entertains, but the film splits the audience

James Thurber’s classic story is headed to the big screen with Ben Stiller as the titular character. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty sadly will divide the audience and critics alike between those who love it and those who hate it.

Walter Mitty is a LIFE Magazine ‘negative asset manager’ who daydreams of adventure and boldness, but is thrust into the world on a hunt for the star photographer (Sean Penn) in the middle of a hostile corporate restructuring.

Ben Still Secret Life Walter MittyMitty travels around the globe, torn between a world where he’s attempting to win over the attention of a co-worker (Kristen Wiig), bantering with his eHarmony-style agent (Patten Oswalt) and struggling to escape the scars of his youth.

Stiller is more concerned about visuals here than Dodgeball humor. The film’s first half, filled with hysterical daydream sequences and gags, is somewhat disconnected to Walter’s abrupt boldness to embark on this journey.

Adam Scott plays the “villain” and the choice of his bold, black beard is distracting in almost every scene and a joke or two doesn’t stop the audience from seeing him as a peevish schoolyard bully. Stiller never seems to find the right balance and will divide the audience into lovers or haters depending on their emotional station in life.

The twists are only ¼ entertaining and mostly predictable with most viewers waiting for the next Patten Oswalt moment.

 

Overall: Walter Mitty receives 2 stars out of 5

Qualifier: Some folks will find inspiration and a rewarding tale to give the film 4 stars out of 5

(I just don’t see it)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens Christmas Day.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news for Examiner, starting and writing for several different websites including the diverse blognews site Desk of Brian. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. I have given this a “10″ rating. There was one minor issue I had with the movie that would make it not quite that in my mind, but a “9″ rating would be an injustice to this extraordinary film and, since I’m unable to give it a 9.75 or something like that, “10″ it is.

    This movie strikes an incredible balance between indy/art-house and Hollywood epic. The pathos of the main character is well-captured in subtle ways, as are the feelings of triumph when he is able to go beyond his own self-imposed limitations. The cinematography is extraordinary– this is a drama that *must* be seen in theaters. I expect that most adults with any sensitivity at all will find this a highly satisfying experience that speaks to their very cores. My wife and I were privileged to see it in an advanced screening, and can’t believe we have to wait another couple of weeks for the official release to go back and see it again.

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