Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Odd Thomas (2014)

Odd Thomas (2013)
Director: Stephen Sommers
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Addison Timlin and Willem Dafoe
Running Time: 100 min

  Going into this, I knew nothing about this film, except that it was going to be in the Cineplex/RavenBanner Horror Thingy on Feb. 13.  I saw director Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing, G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra) name on the credits and began to get worried but then Willem Dafoe is also in this, so I thought that may even it out. 

Odd Thomas, played by Anton Yelchin (Star Trek (2009), Smurfs) is a 20 something guy who can see dead people and does something about it.  He helps ghosts find their killers and has them brought to justice, so the ghosts are able to move on to the other side.  What a nice kid!  Unfortunately, he can't tell anyone that he has this amazing power because he is afraid that he'll be locked up in a mental institution, like his mom.  So to pay the bills he works at the mall as a short order cook.  Makes sense right.  Only his closest friends know about his special power, his girlfriend, Stormy, played by Addsion Timlin (Stand Up Guys, Derailed) and Police Chief Porter, played by Willem Dafoe (Platoon, Speed 2).  He also, sees these demon creatures called "Bodachs" which feast on the suffering of the dying, the more "Bodachs" that are around, the bigger the disaster is coming.  So, one morning after another successful murder case was wrapped up and a terrible dream about a massacre of people wearing bowling shirts, a man walks into his diner with a catastrophic amounts of these "Bodachs" surrounding him.  Odd takes on the the challenge of discovering what this guy's plan is and tries to stop him before anyone gets hurt.

I have to say that Stephen Sommers does a pretty good job directing.  It reminded me of a super natural Fletch, (Chevy Chase, anyone?) because it was funny, quirky and I'm a sucker from a good detective story.  Not only does Sommers puts together some really good action sequences, over the top fist fights, car chases and shoot outs but he actually tries to focus on the relationship of the characters, which was a nice surprise.  He really tries to bring out the human element in these characters and you end up really liking them and wanting them to win, which I find rare in teen and 20 something films these days.

With that said, there were scenes were I found the acting a little stiff between Yelchin and Timlin.  Maybe they were pick up scenes or they had some first day jitters but sometimes the character just didn't jive but for most of the film the chemistry is there.  Also, you could tell that this was an adaptation, I though it was another comic book but it's actually based on a Dean Koontz novel.  I felt they were missing some background stuff on people, like the Chief's wife/girlfriend (?) or we don't actually see Odd's father but he is mentioned a lot through the film.  However, it is hard to fit everything into a story and overall it doesn't really detract from the enjoyment of the film.  Finally, I wasn't crazy about the look of the "Bodach" but by the end of the film, they had grown on me.

Odd Thomas is a fun ghostercoaster ride that has a lot of good twists and will have you wanting to ride again after.  It has something for everybody, a mystery, ghosts, severed fingers in the fridge and love story to boot!