STARRING: Rhiannon Leigh Wryn, Chris O'Neil, Timothy Hutton, Joely Richardson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Rainn Wilson, Kathryn Hahn

2007, 90 Minutes, Directed by:Bob Shaye

An enjoyable
if slight tale about two kids (a ten-year-old brother and his younger sister) discovering alien artifacts with miraculous powers on the beach one day.

The devices are benign in nature and actually increases the boy’s IQ to genius levels. One of the artefacts is a fluffy bunny toy that is actually an artificial intelligence of sorts, which like E.T. has to go home if the day is to be saved. However when one of the alien devices inadvertently cause a huge electricity blackout, it attracts the attention of a neurotic government department who employs the Patriot Act to whisk the whole typical nuclear American family away into captivity without so much as producing a warrant.

The parents and authority figures do not believe the kids and think the objects to be belligerent. Luckily the kids are helped by a science teacher and his spouse, both of whom display an alarming tendency to believe all kinds of New Age-y hokum.

It is doubtful whether small children will be all that entranced by The Last Mimzy. The plot is a bit too complicated and while the inert bunny is cute, there probably isn’t enough action to keep their attention (a few BMX chases might have solved this problem). Still, kids tend to identify with other kids so who knows? The child actors in Last Mimzy acquit them admirably of their tasks, especially Rhiannon Leigh Wryn as the girl who manages to be cute without being gaggingly so.

The adults are OK even though Timothy Hutton is woefully underutilized. The special effects and other production values are decent too. The Howard Shore orchestral score mostly manages to avoid the usual “wonderment” John Williams clichés typical of Spielbergian projects such as this. As a bonus there is a self-referential and upbeat Roger Waters (ex-lead singer of Punk Floyd) song that plays over the credit title sequences – his first song in simply ages.

More could have been done with the material though: perhaps creating more ambiguity whether the alien artifacts are benign in nature would have resulted in more plot tension.

(Incidentally the movie is based on a short story called "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Lewis Padgett. Bruce Joel Rubin and Toby Emmerich did the screenplay adaptation.)




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