The Last Mimzy

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Rating: PG

Chris O’Neil as Noah Wilder
Rhiannon Leigh Wryn as Emma Wilder
Joely Richardson as Jo Wilder
Timothy Hutton as David Wilder
Rainn Wilson as Larry White
Kathryn Hahn as Naomi Schwartz
Michael Clarke Duncan as Nathanial Broadman
Kirsten Williamson as Sheila Broadman
Irene Snow as Teacher in Meadow
Marc Musso as Harry Jones
Megan McKinnon as Wendy
Randi Lynne as Julie the Babysitter

Special Features:
Featurettes That Take You into the Science of “The Last Mimzy”: The Mandala: Imaginary Palace, Sound Waves: Listening to the Universe, DNA: The, Human Blueprint, Nanotechnology: The Human Revolution, Wormholes: Fantasy or Science, The Looking Glass: Emma and Alice
11 Deleted Scenes
Commentary by Director Bob Shaye
Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes: Adapting the Story, Bob Shaye: Director Profile, Casting the Kids, Production Design & Concept Art, Real Is Good: The Visual Effects, Editing & Music
Roger Waters’ “Hello (I Love You)” Music Video

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 EX Surround Sound
Running Time: 97 Minutes

“The Last Mimzy” is based on the short story by Lewis Padgett.

While vacationing at their parent’s beach house, young Noah and Emma Wilder find a strange box. When they open it, they discover several bizarre objects and a child’s stuffed rabbit named Mimzy. As the kids play with the objects, they discover that they do seemingly miraculous things. Even more amazing, the children themselves start gaining remarkable new powers. But where did the object come from? And what will happen when their parents, or even the government, learn about their discovery?

“The Last Mimzy” is rated PG for some thematic elements, mild peril and language.

The Movie:
I don’t know what it is about this movie, but my 8 year old was dying to see it. When we got to the theater, there were a ton of other parents and kids standing in line to see it. I don’t know what it is about “The Last Mimzy,” but it certainly seems to be tapping into a desire for sci-fi movies for kids.

“The Last Mimzy” is at its best when it shows the kids discovering what the strange objects do or what their newfound powers are. The special effects are quite impressive and some of the kids’ powers, like controlling spiders, is pretty cool and imaginative. When audiences leave this film, those moments are what will be most remembered.

The cast is pretty good. Chris O’Neil and Rhiannon Leigh Wryn are very good as the child stars of the film. They manage to maintain a childlike attitude while doing mature things with their powers. I’m a big fan of “The Office,” so it was fun to see Rainn Wilson as Larry White. It’s a little weird seeing him in a role where he’s not creepy.

First of all, the less you know about “The Last Mimzy” going in, the more you will enjoy it. Unfortunately, the previews and commercials spoil every single surprise that the movie has to offer. If you’ve seen either of them, then you know the plot of the entire film. In fact, the movie even manages to spoil itself by showing, in the opening scene showing what Mimzy and the other objects are. If they had kept that a secret longer, it would have been better.

“The Last Mimzy” has a lot of cool, creative stuff going on in it. However, they frequently fall back to movie clichés that we’ve seen too many times before. For example, the kids decide to keep the objects a secret from their parents rather than tell them what’s going on. That leads to the next big cliché – when the parents do find out what’s going on, they freak out in the most extreme way possible. Rather than trying to help the kids solve the puzzle, the mom rids her house of the evil objects….by throwing them in the garbage. Way to go, mom. There are so many clichés that the film even starts mirroring E.T. in tone and plot points. Kids discover weird thing, cool stuff happens with weird thing, government butts in, kids steal weird thing from government, weird thing goes home. The end.

Besides a few other plot holes that I won’t bother to mention, there was one moment that was a bit bizarre. In one scene, Rainn Wilson is shown only wearing a shirt. When he bends over, it looks like computer generated underwear is covering his butt. It was very bizarre and made me think that at one point children were not the target audience of this movie.

“The Last Mimzy” has a lot of cool moments, but spoiled surprises and reliance on movie clichés drag the film down.

The Extras:
There is an impressive array of bonus features included on this DVD. Fortunately, you have the option of watching them separately or during the playing of the movie. First up is a batch of Featurettes. They are almost school lessons on the science presented in the film. They cover wormholes, sound, mandalas, DNA, and more. Next you’ll find a series of 11 Deleted Scenes. One scene shows the Wilder parents having a mild argument before bed. (Oddly enough this has a parental advisory before it.). Another scene is an extended scene between Rainn Wilson as Larry White and Kathryn Hahn as Naomi Schwartz. There’s a little more sex talk and Wilson’s butt is actually blurred out instead of having CG underwear. It is obvious the film was originally geared for an older audience. You’ll also find a commentary by Director Bob Shaye and Roger Waters’ “Hello (I Love You)” Music Video. Rounding things out are a series of Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes covering the adaptation of the story, the effects, casting, and more.

The Bottom Line:
“The Last Mimzy” has some cool moments and an intriguing concept, but the commercials and trailers spoil many of the surprises. The film also is at its weakest when it repeatedly falls back to tired movie clichés.

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