By Nick Stern, Managing Editor
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a surprisingly enjoyable film that serves as a reminder that the journey is always more important than the destination.
Directed and led by Ben Stiller of “Tropic Thunder” and “There’s Something About Mary,” this adaptation of James Thurber’s most famous short story is a big leap forward (and in a different direction) in Stiller’s directing career, and he seems to have switched gears almost entirely for this film compared to his previous films.
One of the most enjoyable characteristics of the film was Stuart Dryburgh’s cinematography and big set pieces which were clever and absolutely beautiful.
There were only a few moments the film seemed to falter slightly, which were when the film seemed to fall back to Stiller’s familiar goofiness attempting to get a cheap laugh.
Overall the film was quite enjoyable and very inspiring to get out of the house and live life to the fullest.
Most movies that Ben Stiller has a huge part in generally leads to the assumption that it is probably a comedy full of humor that a child could understand, and usually that assumption is quite correct.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was a huge surprise because that general assumption but could not be more wrong as this film was original in its plot and execution.
Instead of playing a character which is goofy and full of silly jokes, Stiller pulls off the thoughtful and hard-working guy who daydreams of a much more thrilling life that most people who suffer from boredom can relate to in their early 40’s.
This different approach to acting and directing has probably led to one of the most enjoyable films that the star has ever been a part of in his history of comedic acting and directing.
Even if this story was written almost a century ago, by someone else entirely, it was still very impressive to see such a predictable movie star completely switch gears and still be able to pull it off.
The cinematography was also a huge part of what made the movie so entertaining.
Dryburgh did a great job of creating set piece after set piece without it ever turning in to a boring and repetitive formula.
The scenery was not just enjoyable but was stunning and impressively vast.
Almost every single scene, from panoramic shots of Iceland to shots of the interior of the Time Magazine building, succeeded in making the film a memorable visual experience.
The only time that the film fell back a few paces and seemed to lose footing a little was when it tried to fit in the traditional cheap humor that everyone is used to seeing and has been a part of Stiller’s career for its entirety.
These moments were very few and far between and were largely outweighed by everything else that was unique and enjoyable.
The lead female romantic interest played by Kristen Wiig of “Bridesmaids” and “Saturday Night Live” was in only part of the movie, but had a memorable quirkiness to her character that helped to bring the story and plot full circle.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is not just unique to Stiller’s career but it seems to be unique to most of the films that are being created these days, and that is definitely a good thing.
It is a greatly inspirational film that will definitely leave viewers with a desire to get out the door and do something great with their lives.
Most movies should be trying to inspire people the way that this film does because there is just too much out there that is simply mediocre and unmemorable.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty deserves four out of five stars for its pure beauty and its grand design that leaves viewers with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside afterwards.