- Written By: Stephen Sommers
- Directed By: Stephen Sommers
- Starring: Anton Yelchin, Addison Timlin, Willem Dafoe
After giving it a lot of thought, I have to give Stephen Sommers’ Odd Thomas the sad distinction of being one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Ever. Based on the Dean R. Koontz novel of the same name, Odd Thomas is the story of the titular character (played by Anton Yelchin) who can see dead people and helps them right the wrongs done to them in life. To do this, he gets help from his girlfriend Stormy (Addison Timlin) and the local police force led by Willem Dafoe. The thrust of the film comes from Odd’s visions that a violent tragedy will happen to the small town where they all live. While it’s attempting to be Frighteners by way of Joss Whedon, it’s simply a mess of a movie.
There has to be a spectacular combination of events to make a bad movie. And I mean a bad bad movie, not a bad movie that’s unintentionally funny. From the script (also by Sommers) to awful sound mix to the truly bizarre performances and everything in between, if there’s a bad choice to be made, this movie finds it. It’s not to say that there aren’t kernels of good ideas in there, but they are wasted. While Sommers struck box office gold — and a fair amount of critical goodwill — with The Mummy, he simply can’t find his footing with this one. He’s attempting to be Don Coscarelli with this film while trying to maintain his blockbuster sensibilities, and he seems to have forgotten the basic rules of telling an engaging and moving story. Sommers seems much more preoccupied with building a franchise than relaying a story (or anything else really) to an audience.
The script is perhaps the film’s worst asset. I’ve never come across a movie where 70% of the dialogue was voice over. Unless voice overs are used for a real purpose rather than just getting exposition across they reek of sloppy writing. Not only is the voice over used constantly to give exposition but nearly every line of actual dialogue is more exposition. Because of this there’s no true through-line for the characters the movie plods along with no real pacing and it’s only a series of nonsensical action set pieces. The actors stagger through the scenes with most of their dialogue courtesy of ADR as they solve the mystery of the awful event that will befall their small town. The mind-numbing attempts at characterization, the abhorrent nature with which women are treated in the film, and the lack of any true understanding of human nature is almost impressive. Almost.
Odd Thomas is a waste of a film.
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