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Review: The Fourth Kind

The Fourth Kind
11.06.2009
6 10

PLOT: Supposedly fact based (riiiiight), this film examines close encounters of the so-called "fourth kind"- involving alien abductions, and the unsettling experiences of a psychologist (Milla Jovovich), who, along with several of her patients- becomes a victim to this phenomena.

REVIEW: I really don't know what to make of THE FOURTH KIND. I think it's an extremely well crafted movie, with star Milla Jovovich, and director Olatunde Osunsanmi working hard to convince us that what were seeing is actually based on fact. To do this, they continuously break the fourth wall, or provide supposedly genuine video or audio clips to convince us, and, to be sure- the film is at times somewhat convincing. That said- I'm still not buying any of it.

However, even if it is a load of BS, it's nonetheless a fairly entertaining, and almost diabolically clever film. If PARANORMAL ACTIVITY hadn't come along to steal a little of it's thunder, Iíd imagine THE FOURTH KIND would have caught on in a big way (and who knows- it still might). People eat up this kind of thing, and I'm sure loads of viewers will get a big kick out of it (COAST TO COAST devotees in particular).

As far as I'm concerned though, THE FOURTH KIND doesnít quite work. Initially, I was pulled in by the techniques Osunsanmi was using to tell the story. I also thought Milla Jovovich made a credible lead, and one of my favorite character actors, Elias Koteas shows up in a key role, giving the thing a bit of gravitas. That said, not all the acting is perfect. Will Pattonís sheriff character was WAYYYYYY over the top, particularly in his big confrontation scene with Jovovich. He really starts to chew the scenery, which doesnít jibe with the vibe the film seems to be going for. Also- some of the acting in the fake documentary portions of the film was a little sketchy, although the unpolished performances in this section may be somewhat intentional.

After about an hour, I found it difficult to maintain my suspension of disbelief. It just began to feel too gimmicky to me, with Osunsanmi spending a little too much time with the faux documentary footage. All of the big scenes play out this way- which removes big chunks of screen time for the actors, and kept me from ever really relating to them.

Whatever my feelings about the film, it remains a well crafted, unconventional alien abduction film. It didnít quite work for me- but maybe Iím just being a stick in the mud. People seemed to like it at the screening I attended, so perhaps Iím just missing the boat on this one. Whatever the case may be, it's far from a bad film, and much better than the wildly over-praised PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.

RATING: 6.5/10

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Source: JoBlo.com

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