Thursday, February 6, 2014

Movie Review: "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (2013)

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Movie"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"
Director: Ben Stiller
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) lives a banal, bland existence working for Life magazine as a negative assets manager; he is in charge of all the photos that are considered for the magazine. He often daydreams about fantastical situations where he's a hero or an adventurer...basically everything he's not in real life. Many of his daydreams often revolve around his co-worker Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig), an attractive, recently separated new hire. His work life is slowly crashing down on him: Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott) has been appointed to manage the downsizing of the workforce and the subsequent elimination of the print edition of Life magazine. Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn), a world-famous freelance photographer, has taken a photo that encompasses everything that Life magazine is truly about. This photo is intended for the final cover. Upon receiving the negatives from Sean, Walter discovers that #25 is missing...this negative is also the final cover photo. When Walter is given the ultimatum by Ted to find the photo or else he's fired, Walter breaks out of his mundane shell of a life and heads on an unforgettable adventure to find Sean O'Connell, who is somewhere in the world.


This movie takes audiences on a journey of self-discovery, leaving the safety of your routine and taking chances in life. So many times in life we are presented with opportunities to do something different, to try something new, to see new and strange things, or to take different paths...this movie is for the dreamers, for the ones who want to take a chance but are too afraid. It's definitely a feel-good, inspirational story, and we found ourselves rooting for Walter to succeed throughout the whole thing.

Ben Stiller not only does a good job acting in this film, but he also did a great job directing it, too. Kristen Wiig also does a very nice job as Walter's muse and love interest. The two of them seem like a good on-screen couple! Who knew Adam Scott could be such a dick? He played one so convincingly as Ted, the overbearing, jerk of a superior, that we wanted to reach through the screen and slap him. Sean Penn is so self-righteous and high and mighty in his real life that it only makes sense that that would be transcribed on-screen...and it is. Once his character is finally revealed in the flesh, it's really not that far off from the actual Sean Penn.

One thing we will mention before we finish is HOLY PRODUCT PLACEMENTS, BATMAN. It made us want a Papa John's pizza something fierce.

This movie features some great cinematography as far as wide shots of beautiful multicultural landscapes throughout Walter's journey. The countries chosen for his adventures are shown in a beautiful light. It does have its moment of humor, but it is absolutely more sentimental and heartwarming than funny. Even though the ride to get there can seem a little bumpy and without the best dialogue, the end of the movie is really touching and special. We're not sure why this movie has such mixed reviews.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 49%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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