Title: Odd Thomas
Director: Stephen Sommers
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Addison Timlin, Willem Dafoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Patton Oswalt, 50 Cent
Running time: 96 minutes, Unrated, In theaters Feb 28th (limited)
Based on the Dean Koontz series is the story of Odd Thomas (Anon Yelchin). He discloses his name was the result of a hospital typo for Todd. Like his institutionalized mother (Leonor Varela), Odd has the ability to see the dead, which he uses it to help the police find the perpetrators of unsolvable murders. In order to keep himself from the same fate as his mother, Odd has only told a few close people about his ability – Police Chief Wyatt (Willem Dafoe) and his girlfriend Stormy (Addison Timlin); the rest of the town thinks he’s clairvoyant or just “odd.” After solving the hit and run murder of a young girl, Odd begins to see an unusually high number of Bodachs – transparent monstrous entities that bring warning of death and destruction, whom are encircling a certain towns person that Odd dubs “Fungus Bob” (Shuler Hensley). Odd follows Bob home only to find a gateway to hell which means Bob is involved in something truly evil and sinister that will soon befall the town that only Odd must prevent.
The bad: The narration. Some call it lazy storytelling. Considering it’s adapted from a long Dean Koontz novel, the narration seems necessary for time considering the story has a lot of ground to cover, but it does get tiresome. Director Stephen Sommers giving a cameo to Arnold Vosloo (whom he directed in The Mummy) as a pathetic jokester ghost was lame, sorry. Odd’s relationship with Stormy seems forced at times – when she tells the chief she would cut off her hand for him because she loves him so much was a bit of random dialogue, but their chemistry works.
The good: It’s a simple supernatural action-comedy. It’s not overwhelmed with unnecessary characters. Patton Oswalt had a cameo as a local artist/metal smith whose scene came and went too quickly. I wanted to know his story, but he was gone in mere minutes. Willem Dafoe plays a smart and likeable character and I liked his chemistry with Anton Yelchin. The chief was maybe a little too easygoing and trusting when Odd tips him off, although I’m glad they didn’t make him into the stereotypical bumbling cynical cop like in a lot of supernatural themed films and TV shows. The acting is good by most, and the visual effects and stunts are fun. Odd Thomas is an enjoyable popcorn flick.
It is based on a book series and leaves the ending open for more, but unfortunately I’m not feeling a sequel. There were a few plot holes that couldn’t be salvaged because the script was overwhelmed with content. Like many surprise hits, I feel confident it will gain some fans with word of mouth.
Total Rating: B+
Reviewed by: JM Willis