Jan 11, 2008

[Movies] The Last Mimzy

The Last MimzyWhen I first saw the trailers for The Last Mimzy I was cautiously curious. I mean, just think about it - the film seemed to be primarily positioned as a children's story. Yet at the same time it had my science-fiction-sense tingling something fierce and somewhere in the back of my head, the Mad Hatter that resides in my head (and everyone's for as long as they've read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) screaming for attention. Oh yes, it was one of those movies I just had to see.

It took me a while before I got my hands on a copy of the movie and by then I knew that it had been based on a short story entitled Mimsy Were the Borogroves, a line taken directly from Lewis Carol's poem, Jabberwocky, as found in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Oh yes, it all made sense. I already had a copy of the story as part of a short story collection, but as is the way of such things I still hadn't read it. I didn't want to enter the theater trying to compare it with the original story. It's always been my belief that such things should be taken separately and weighed independently.

At it's core, this movie is still a science fiction story. Sure, you're force to follow the story from the perspective of the children who find the strange artifacts or "toys" as they call them, but then that's part of the charm of the piece. It doesn't mean this is just another children's story.

The movie follows the adventures of two children, Noah and Emma Wilder, after they discover a strange artifact on the beach. They soon discover it's a container of sorts containing various "toys" that perform different functions and help unlock different abilities in the two children. The exact purpose of these toys is largely unknown to them and slowly they discover more and more what the last Mimzy is meant to do.

The movie certainly had me riveted, but then again maybe I just have a thing for intricate geometric designs and Tibetan Mandalas.

I'll admit it's not the greatest film of its kind and it does its best to maintain some appeal to kids without pandering to them, which is good. At the same time, however, it tends to wander around a lot too with many diverse plot elements getting introduced and not fully utilized. Considering it was based on a short story, you can only wonder how the movie could feel a bit overloaded still. Case in point - we probably could have done without the whole FBI angle of things, which felt like a cheap shot at the current post-9/11 environment in the US given the far-reaching powers of the Patriot Act.

Still, I found it to be a rather interesting story that certainly had a lot of potential. While it was decently executed for the most part, certainly a lot more could have been achieved by the film and perhaps someone may address this in the future in some other interpretation.

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