THE LAST MIMZY
*** (out of 5)
March 23, 2007
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
Studio: New Line Cinema
Directed by: Robert Shaye
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
“The Last Mimzy” is a new family film which includes elements of adventure an espionage. It tells the story of a brother and sister who discover a mysterious toy box on the beach of their summer home. When they open the box, they discover fantastic devices and a stuffed rabbit that talks to the girl. After playing with the toys, both children develop amazing powers of teleportation, precognition and sheer genius.
Soon, the grown-ups discover that these toys aren’t really toys at all. The audience knows they are artifacts sent from the future, but the folks in the movie have trouble figuring that out. The military wants to keep the kids under wraps, but the brother and sister know they have to use these artifacts soon to save the future of humanity.
Leading up to actually seeing the film, “The Last Mimzy” preplexed me. I had seen advertisements for a long time, and I just couldn’t wrap my brain around them. Back when the film was simply called “Mimzy,” the ads seemed to indicate there was something sinister behind the mysterious toy box.
However, when the advertisements were revamped and the title was changed to incorporate “The Last,” it was much more warm and fuzzy. I thought that while this might be a fun family film, it’d have a decent dose of cheese on the side.
I was right on both counts. “The Last Mimzy” is a film for the families more than anything else. It’s got a lot that kids can hold onto. There’s the outcast children who are empowered by the events of the film. There’s the adults that don’t believe them, but suddenly do. There’s the oppressive government men who are trying to keep them from their mission.
“This Last Mimzy” reminded me of the films I saw as a child growing up in the 1980s. There’s a definite vibe from these stories, which often featured young children stumbling across something great but then being chased by the government or other dark-suited bad guys. Movies like “E.T.,” “D.A.R.Y.L.” and “Cloak & Dagger” come to mind after seeing this film.
It is these child-centric stories that really inspired me as a young boy, and I imagine that “The Last Mimzy” would have a similar effect on the kids of today. My six-year-old is already bugging me non-stop to let him see the film, and I’m sure he’ll love it.
As an adult, I saw this movie a little differently. There was a schmaltzy “Star Trek” utopia feel about the future of the world, as seen in the film. Additionally, the explanation and theories behind the movie are steeped in liberal panic that would make Al Gore blush. I don’t mind warning future generation about chemical pollution, but the story talks about a type of spiritual pollution that just seems too preachy for my tastes.
Still, “The Last Mimzy” works as a family film. It has it’s fun points, and the story is presented in a rather believable and down-to-earth manner. However, I do wonder how young a viewer has to be before he or she accepts the movie without question. My guess would be that the farther you get from age 13, the more the film will lose appeal.