Written by: Matt Molgaard
I’ve never been able to get into Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas series. In all honesty, I found the first book strangely dull, and couldn’t make it 50 pages deep in the initial follow-up. However, screenwriter/director Stephen Sommers has managed to not only turn this story into something quit enjoyable, he’s also trumped every film he’s ever shot. Not to say Sommers has shot a wealth of quality pictures, but the feeble minded, low attention spanned youth seemed to gravitate toward the stomach turning Mummy remakes, and plenty of diehards showed up at cinemas globally to check out the humiliatingly bad G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Well, Sommers just saved his own rear-end. Odd Thomas is engaging, controlled on the visual effects front, well-acted and ultimately spun into a well-paced story. It’s basically the opposite of every Sommers movie I’ve ever seen (okay I confess, Van Helsing is a guilty pleasure), which is a great, great thing. When it was announces Stephen would man this Koontz adaptation I was entirely convinced that the flick would disappoint me even more so than the novel itself.
I was wrong, I admit it.
The story sees Odd Thomas (yep, that’s his actual name) fighting to deal with one very complex gift. He can see creatures invisible to the average man, and these creatures surface when death is on the horizon. Furthermore, Odd can see slices of the future, which aids him in his quest to thwart evildoers – usually murderers. But one specific individual is about to trigger a major problem for Odd, and it could very well result in the death of hundreds of innocent people if he can’t put the pieces of a distorted puzzle together.
Anton Yelchin does an impressive job as our titular hero. He’s a smaller, unassuming guy, but he’s very, very likeable, and even in the moments when his physicality is put to the test, he shines. Addison Timlin is cute (those short shorts should be illegal, though I’m not complaining) and very serviceable as Odd’s love interest, Stormy, and Willem Dafoe surfaces to play the good-guy cop who shares a close connection with Odd. It’s a fine cast, and I’ve got no complaints to issue in regards to the ensemble.
In fact, if there’s any single problem I do have with the film, it’s the fact that there are just a few too many cheesy Hallmark moments. I could do without those, but even those shots work fairly well with the comedic tones of the film. And believe me, there’s quite a bit of humor to be found in this one.
Odd Thomas has had a very, very quiet release, but I see that changing in the coming weeks. This one should see a strong push on February 28th when Odd arrives on a far grander scale. Anticipate strong home viewing embrace, as the flick deserves it. With some of the trash that has earned wide release lately, it’s a bummer we won’t see this one on 4,000 screens, but it’s going to leave its mark. It’s good enough to do that, for sure.