As I left the theater, I could not help but wonder what this might have been like if the script was more focused, if the story actually had some sort of substance to it. I felt that The Last Mimzy was trying too hard to be some sort of ET-styled message movie.
The tone was all over the place, and the elements failed to mesh in any meaningful manner. It is also notable for being New Line Cinema founder Robert Shaye's return to the director's chair for the first time since 1990's Book of Love. Something tells me he should have remained in the executive's office.
The basic story tells of two children, Noah (Chris O'Neil) and Emma (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn), who find a mysterious box filled with toys while vacationing at the family's lake home. The toys give the two children new abilities and advanced intellect.
One of the toys is a stuffed rabbit called Mimzy, and it speaks to Emma, telling her that the end of the world is coming and that she and Noah possess the key to saving the future. It is up to the kids to figure out what they need to do and keep as many secrets from their parents as they can to reach that end.
Mixed in with this apocalyptic fantasy are sprinkled new age-y spirituality, the Patriot Act, a cautionary tale of ecological disaster, and superpowers, all which have no real effect on the main story. Of course, if you take away all of those unnecessary parts the movie would probably only last 30-40 minutes; also if the kids had decided to tell their parents, the movie would have ended a lot quicker.
The movie does not work. The script is half baked, and all of the adult characters seem to be clueless as to what is actually going on, not that we know what is actually going on. They are all rather reactionary and don't stop to do what would be logical in the situation — talk to the kids.
The script takes the narrative a step further; there are moments where seems as if they did not know how to make the leap from one scene to the next — how do they do it? Have Mimzy say something to Emma and charge off in another direction. What did Mimzy say? Doesn't matter, the fact that we think something was said is reason enough.
I give the filmmakers some credit for making a film that is a more ambitious, and more than a bit weirder, than standard family fare. It attempts to do something more than just tell of kids saving the world, a variety of different things are brought in like the spiritualism, ecological concerns, and the potential dangers of the Patriot Act. Sure, they do not come together well, but the point is that they made the attempt. Maybe this can be seen as a launching point for other, more intelligent, family fare.
One of the problems that plagues this production is that there was a collision between making an intelligent film and a making a message film. There is a prologue and an epilogue tacked on that explain the ecological message, but they are tacked on such a way that it is almost like watching a different movie.
If only they used more time to develop the story — I cannot help but feel that there was a lot more to this script that got cut to preserve a short running time. The leaps that are made in the final film boggle the mind, trying to connect all the dots will surely give you a headache.
Bottom line. This was not a good movie, but it was not a bad movie, it is a movie that tried but got muddled down in its new age spiritual ecological awareness message and forgot to tell a story. The brightest part of the movie is Rhiannon Leigh Wryn as young Emma, she is an adorable young actress that really brought life to her role. Maybe worth renting, but not much more.Powered by Sidelines