Movie of the Week: The Last Mimzy

It’s been a long time since a movie caught me completely by surprise. Even if I haven’t seen any previews, I usually have some idea of what to expect from reviews I’ve read before I sit down to watch a DVD. But I had no idea what I was getting into with The Last Mimzy. I had seen the movie for sale in stores, so I knew it was out there. From the cover, it looked like a magical kid movie, but since I hadn’t really heard of it, I figured it was probably mediocre at best. I’ve been on a children’s movie kick lately, enjoying simple, fresh, fantastic stories, so I put it on my Netflix queue figuring I’d watch it some afternoon just for fun.

Kurt pulled it out the other night and asked what it was. I played it down. He’ll watch animated films with me, but I don’t think films for children would be his first choice most nights. However, he said, “Let’s watch it,” and we did. And we both got an amazing surprise.

First, this is not a kid’s movie. It’s a science fiction/fantasy movie with main characters who happen to be children. Second, it is not mediocre. Not even remotely. It’s beautifully filmed and has a talented cast. Third, it’s spell-binding. The story unfolds without even attempting to give explanations for what is happening, although we understand everything in the end. Unlike many movies for children, The Last Mimzy lets you watch things happen and figure it out for yourself. It makes the assumption that you have a brain and know how to use it.

I don’t want to give any of the surprises away, so here is a bare bones summary of the plot. Two modern children find a box on the beach, one that presents them with odd objects that they treat as toys. Ten-year-old Noah (Chris O’Neil) studies a transparent rectangle that is full of lights and shapes and begins to see and experience the world in a new way. His younger sister Emma (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) listens to Mimzy, the stuffed rabbit she finds in the box. Both children are soon behaving oddly, worrying and frightening their parents. As the adults around them become more concerned and start to act, Noah and Emma realize they have an important mission to complete on behalf of Mimzy and the people who sent her.

The comparison the marketers made for The Last Mimzy was to E.T., but I think they missed the boat. If they wanted a Spielberg comparison, they should have gone with Close Encounters of the Third Kind. While both stories are about making contact with an alien race, Mimzy is closer to the mysterious and awe-filled adult approach of Close Encounters than it is the juvenile and humorous E.T.

Although the film has beautiful cinematography and an excellent cast, The Last Mimzy is not perfect. Nit-pickers will find some nits to pick. But it is so much better than the majority of things Hollywood spits out for children that it’s a good example of what other movie makers should be striving for.

Advertisements

Published by

Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

One thought on “Movie of the Week: The Last Mimzy”

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s