Written by / 12/26/2013 / No comments / , , ,

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY WITH BEN STILLER

year: 2013 rating: **1/2
The secret of Walter Mitty’s life is that he daydreams a lot: From walking out of snowy photographs as an intrepid mountain climber, to beating up his new "boss" in an elevator, to comic-book-battling the same bearded weenie in the streets of New York, Walter always lets his imagination get the best of him: You can say it defines his entire character. With more cerebral experiences than actual ones, he even has trouble filling out a dating website resume.

Based on a short story and rebooted from a classic Danny Kaye film, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY stars actor/director Ben Stiller in the title role: a passive man whose daydreams keep him distracted until something real happens. Working for the soon defunct LIFE magazine, a negative to what’s to be the last cover is lost… So right as we’re getting to know the man through his creative reveries, Walter cuts loose on a real adventure. To find the missing picture he treks in search of Sean Penn’s Sean O’Connell, an intrepid globe-trotting LIFE photographer, and winds up in both Greenland and Iceland: battling sharks, riding a skateboard down a gorgeous mountain road, and much too easily connecting (via cell phone) to his dream girl. Not only is the original theme a thing of the past, it’s difficult to tell what’s real, what's in his mind or, at this point, if that device even matters.

It’s fine to make a big budget arthouse film about discovering one self through an existential journey, but why did those daydreams happen at all? During the second half of MITTY, his wild imagination became something looked back on in melancholy shame, and yet Walter’s secret life was the best thing he had going. 
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