The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Review
✔ Great Landscape Shots
✔ Ben Stiller Gives a Good Performance
✔ Interesting Ideas
✘ Imagination Scenes are Full of Wasted Potential
✘ Very Forgettable
✘ Forced Humor
✘ Slow First Half
✘ Very Cartoony Characters
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty follows Walter Mitty played by Ben Stiller who is a day-dreamer that takes a leap of faith to exit his fantasy and go out and explore the world. I went into this movie expecting very good things based on the magnificent trailers and sadly, almost all the best parts are in them. Every time something cool is about to happen, you recognize it ahead of time due to the trailers. I still enjoyed the movie, just would have like to not have seen so much from that second trailer especially.
The plot of the film is a very interesting concept and spoke to me in a way since I go around my school and day dream in the halls all the time similar to Ben Stiller’s character, so on that level the film worked. If it was only an exploration of one’s mind and having him need to branch more it would have been much better. When it sticks to that focus, the film really stands out but sadly those moments are mainly in the latter half. The first half is full of awkward comedy that had some in my theater laughing, but left me unamused. A few jokes worked but they were very few and far between. Thankfully the jokes only don’t hit, none are cringe worthy like other terrible comedies.
Ben Stiller does a competent job directing but nothing noteworthy. Sweeping shots of the landscape are beautiful but the camera work otherwise is average. He did get good performances out of his actors, everyone did a good job. The love interest Cheryl played by Kristen Wiig had good chemistry with Mitty and it was believable. Their awkward attempts at humor with one another don’t miss like the rest of the film’s comedy and added some charm to a movie whose tone got hard to tell at times. Besides Wiig, a lot of the characters seemed very cartoony which don’t work at all for the tone they are going for.
The movie tries to be this grand in scope Oscar darling and at that, it fails. There are times it is boring with my friend almost falling asleep in the middle. I was emotionally invested enough to maintain focus but I found myself realizing I was watching a movie which is never a positive. The parts that worked were the relationship between Mitty and Crystal and Mitty’s grand adventure. His dream sequences felt forced and out of place. Which is a shame since that is the most interesting part you would think from reading the premise. A few of them worked but other times, you know he is dreaming so you stop caring about what is going on since he will wake up eventually. The best parts happened when he was not day dreaming. If the movie was a half hour shorter or even a short film it would have been a lot better. The ending was satisfying and the second half of this film save it from receiving an even lower score although you won’t remember it in a few days.