Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is Hit or Miss

Ben Stiller in a still from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

While The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was very ambitious, it fell a bit short in some areas.

I tend to enjoy Ben Stiller films but the first hour of this 2:05 film felt a bit on the slow side. I’m not sure if that’s to blame on Stiller and Kristen Wiig, the content, or simply the fact that it was the second film I saw on Wednesday.

Stiller directed Mitty, based on the classic story by James Thurber about a day-dreamer that escapes his life by disappearing into a fantasy world, where Mitty is a hero, romantic, and an action star, so to speak. Steve Conrad wrote the screenplay.

Mitty works as a Negative Asset Manager for Life magazine, where he has a crush on Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig), but his job is soon threatened when the magazine gets acquired by another company. A bearded Adam Scott plays the transition manager and he brings his character to life in a much different way than seen on Parks and Recreation.

Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) mails in a series of negatives to be used for the final magazine and requests that #25 be used for the cover. The problem? Nobody can find the negative. This brings Mitty to search for O’Connell, even if it takes a worldwide tour to find the photographer.

The journey takes Mitty to Greenland, where he jumps into the ocean and gets attacked by a shark, and Iceland, where he escapes a volcano eruption. It soon turns into an extraordinary adventure but the problem is that one cannot tell what’s real and what’s fantasy.

I’m not saying that I don’t recommend the action dramedy but it does have its moments.

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