First reviews from ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’

The first reviews from the world premiere screening of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty are in, with the critics being very divided. Some of them loved the movie while others found it, well, not good at all. When it played for a “regular audience”, however, the film received a long standing ovation, with tons of Twitter-users attending the screening raving about the movie. We just have to check out the movie ourselves to see (though from what I’ve seen so far it looks terrific!). Continue read for what some of the reviewers had to say about The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

“A lyrical comic fable about releasing the exceptional qualities trapped within ordinary people, Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty expands upon the classic James Thurber short story, updating it to the age of corporate downsizing and dehumanizing job elimination. Premiering at the New York Film Festival ahead of Fox’s wide Christmas Day release, the film’s pleasures may be too minor key and its pace too meandering to conquer the mainstream. But audiences willing to tune in to its blend of surreal fantasy, droll comedy and poignancy will be rewarded.

More or less playing straight man, Wiig gives a quiet, appealing performance as a woman no less thwarted by the burdens of everyday existence than Walter; her ability to see past his awkwardness adds emotional warmth.”

– David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Mitty has an honorable core to its comedy as an homage to characters who work hard and stay true to themselves and their dreams in world that, as we witness, is lurching from analog to digital for all the wrong bottom-line reasons. Its heart is in the right place. It’s too bad that the ingredients don’t always add up.”

– David D’Arcy, Screen Daily

“Sometimes daydreams do come true. At least, that’s what the Goldwyn family must be feeling now that their long-delayed The Secret Life of Walter Mitty update finally exists, smarter and less screwball than previous attempts at the material have been. After nearly two decades of rewrites and recasting — during which Jim Carrey, Owen Wilson, Mike Myers and Sacha Baron Cohen were each attached — the role falls to Ben Stiller, who also directs. Rather than channeling James Thurber’s satirical tone, Stiller plays it mostly earnest, spinning what feels like a feature-length “Just Do It” ad for restless middle-aged auds, on whom its reasonably commercial prospects depend.”

– Peter Debruge, Variety

Walter Mitty is not a terrible movie per se, but it is largely unsophisticated and prosaic in most of its sentiments. Extremely ambitious in scope—the movie takes on several genres at once, including fantasy, romantic comedy, action, adventure and more—The Secret Life of Walter Mitty does have good intentions, but the road here is often paved with cloying misdirection.”

– Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

“Ostensibly a modern-to-the-minute adaptation of James Thurber’s indelible short story, Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is kind of like if Akira Kurosawa’s “Ikiru” were remade as an 114-minute Super Bowl commercial. A visually playful enlightenment drama that’s so preoccupied with inspiring its audience that it never bothers articulating a coherent message to inspire them with, Stiller’s film so consistently undercooks its cheap Hallmark sentiments that none of these pseudo-rousing peans to the inherent wonder of being alive ever congeal into anything meaningful.”

– David Ehrlich, Film.com

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