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K-Pax (2001)
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Review Date: October 27, 2001
Director: Iain Softley
Writer: Charles Leavitt
Producers: Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin
Actors:
Kevin Spacey as Prot
Jeff Bridges as Dr. Powell
Mary McCormack as Rachel Powell
Plot:
A man claiming to be from another planet called K-PAX is put inside a psychiatric ward along with many other unbalanced people. His doctor listens to his stories and, after some incredible indications of proof, skeptically starts to believe the man. But as the end approaches, and the alien-man is set to return to his home planet, other clues are brought to the forefront which might indicate otherwise. Or do they?
Critique:
An interesting movie. I can't say that there was anything specific about this film that bowled me over (other than the consistency of Jeff Bridges' great hair), but I was never bored by it either, and was actually quite engaged by the flick, despite most of it taking place in one building and between two main characters. And I suppose that, in itself, should be a major compliment to both Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges, who also don't necessarily revolutionize the realm of thespianism with their performances, but certainly deliver two solid showings, in a film which focuses directly on their characters and their specific interactions. But the bottom line with this movie is whether or not it's an intriguing story and to me, it was quite involving. Is Spacey's character an alien from another planet or is he just another human being with a serious head case? Or should it really matter either way, as his presence alone seems to be affecting others in a very positive way?

I enjoyed this movie because it pulled me in really quick, dropped some hints here and there, but didn't provide for any real specific clues until the very end. Many people apparently didn't like the ending because it doesn't hand you the solution on a silver platter, but I was satisfied all the same, in fact, I appreciated its open-endedness. It's meaningful, it allows for introspection and is ambiguous enough to let anyone come up with their own theory and it works. On the downside, the film did feel a little too long, Mary McCormack's (I love you...call me!) character was highly underdeveloped and the whole loony bin shtick was not the most original concept ever developed in a motion picture. But the two lead men clicked, and the mystery of the stranger drove the story forward in entertaining manner. So is it a great movie? Certainly not. Does it suck? Not really. It's a middle-of-the-road film with a nice message that should give its audience some pause for reflection and an enjoyable evening. It also features yet another amazing slow-motion shot of Jeff Bridges running (with his hair flopping in the wind) and I think that we can all agree on the fact that, that alone, should be enough to fork over any entrance fee to see this movie. Bridges...how do you do it?
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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