Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Adventurous and Imaginative
Back in December of 2013, there was one film I was gearing to see, and the day it came out I was ready to, but stuff came up and I was unable to go. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was said movie, and for months on end I kept asking myself and others why I haven’t seen the movie yet, and before long the movie left the main theater. However, it took long enough, but I was finally able to get around to watching the flick. The real question is if it lived up to my own personal hype I created for it, and I think for the most part it did, just not in the way I thought it would.
The story revolves unsurprisingly around Walter Mitty, a pleasant man that just has never really experienced anything worthwhile in his life, and that has caused him to be practically invisible to everyone around him, and the fact that he often daydreams makes him a laughing stock to the people he works with. When LIFE magazine announces its final printed issue, it is up to Walter Mitty to track down the photo negative which would be used as the cover, but when that goes missing, Walter decides to go all over the world to track down the photographer for help, basically experiencing everything he would normally daydream.
The thing I liked about the premise, based off of the trailers alone was the daydreaming. I know daydreaming pretty well, especially in my younger days, and they were able to successfully show an accurate portrayal of daydreams – as well as the people it affects, which is important. Then, the film goes into one of the best adventure films I feel I’ve ever seen. The scenery is very captivating, and this guy’s journey is really satisfying for so many different reasons. It reminds me a little bit of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego as he’s tracking down this Sean O’Connell character, but it also feels a photo book of the world’s most glorious places. By the end of the film, you’ll want to trace Walter Mitty’s path and do everything he just did, because it looks amazing.
Not only this, but the way this film’s tone feels is really unique and it never falters. It kind of feels like an independent film, but with a good budget and a devoted crew. Someone on that crew had a passion for travel and photography, and it shows. If I could complain about one thing, I might pick writing. The dialogue is quick and funny sometimes, like with the E-Harmony tech support guy on the phone, other times I feel as if most of the attention is focused on the look and feel of the film, not the actual dialogue or chemistry between the actors. They all did a great job with the acting independently, but as far as chemistry goes, I think for the most part they all just did okay.
This was clearly a movie built on how it looks, which is no doubt beautiful. Ben Stiller plays the perfect character who would be prone to daydreams, and the way in which it progresses is incredibly satisfactory, and it’s just a really fabulous and fun film.
Sometimes the dialogue and chemistry in the film isn’t the best because the focus was primarily on how the film looked and felt, not so much on the characters. Walter Mitty’s character is very developed and is as unique as the film itself, but the rest of the characters are a little dull and forgettable.
Walter Mitty: Hey, do you know our motto?
Ted Hendricks: Life… I’m lovin’ it.
Walter Mitty: That’s not it. That’s McDonald’s.