Sunday, July 13, 2014

Odd Thomas

Movie Name: Odd Thomas
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Stephen Sommers
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Addison Timlin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Willem Dafoe, Nico Tortorella, Kyle McKeever, Patton Oswalt, Laurel Harris, Arnold Vosloo, Shuler Hensley
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Director Stephen Sommers is back, after his big budget "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra", with an adaptation of the Dean Koontz book, "Odd Thomas". The film follows the story of Odd Thomas, a young cook, with special paranormal abilities, that allow him to see the dead and understand the clues they leave that tell him when something deadly and menacing is going to occur. Odd starts finding out clues for an event of massive proportions, that forces him, alongside his girlfriend, Stormy and the chief of police, to figure out what is about to occur.
Stephen Sommers has made his name as a director of big blockbusters, particularly the "Mummy" series and "Van Helsing". These were films that relied heavily on the visual effects and big action set pieces, and not so much on character development (or even originality of concept and story). "Odd Thomas" is definitely a smaller scale film for him - the feature focuses specifically on a young hero, that against all odds, has the responsibility of saving the world from ultimate destruction. The hero is a lonesome figure, since he has been born with special powers or capabilities, that allow him to see the world differently. The director isn't much interested in how the character inhabits the world, the focus is definitely on the procedural part of the story, where Odd has to track clues and understand what the menace is and how it's going to present itself. What the film lacks in character development, it relies on the momentum of the mystery that slowly unravels as the film progresses. The film also benefits from the engaging Anton Yelchin, who continues to cement his rise as an interesting actor (with very eclectic career choices) and the always solid support from Willem Dafoe. A very entertaining film worth finding out.