Ben Oliver

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Life is about courage and going into the unknown.
18 August 2014

Ben Stiller smacks us hard in the face with the sentimental stick here in this tale of a dull man who has to embark on an adventure to save his job and happens to make himself less dull.

This isn’t one for cynics like me, but it’s also hard to imagine even the softest of hearts being swayed by this soulless picture. We’re expected to feel like we should embrace life because of some cheap quotes, and if it didn’t work the first time don’t panic, Stiller doesn’t hesitate to repeat himself time and time again.

Walter goes from dullard to ‘Indiana Jones mixed with the guy from The Strokes’ after a change of clothes and a trip abroad. He becomes a new man because he is less boring now. How inspiring.

This whole puke worthy life affirming shtick would be forgiveable if the film were funny, but it isn’t. Walter takes numerous breaks to daydream, but sadly his fantasy land is as dull and pointless as he is (a Benjamin Button reference, really?). These scenes drag on forever, it seems.

I’m really surprised Stiller settled with this as the final cut of the film. He could have cut the crap, stopped with the quotes and relentless product placement, got rid of the stupid soundtrack and there would have been a shot at a great film here. Instead it’s just frustrating, irritating and weird.

Wes Anderson probably needed to make this instead.

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