Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas

Rating: ★★½☆☆

When a movie directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, Van Helsing, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) doesn’t even get a theatrical release – having been released on DVD in Hungary in June – you know something’s up. Adapted from Dean Koontz’s novel of the same name, Odd Thomas revolves around the titular character (Anton Yelchin), who sees people who have been murdered, and tries to help their soul rest by taking care of the perpetrator.

When working at the local diner one day, however, he notices a mysterious man being trailed by bodachs – spirit creatures who foreshadow dark times ahead – ensuring that he has to use his clairvoyant abilities to stop a disaster before it’s too late.

Though peppered with colourful characters such as a local police chief who relies on Odd’s abilities to solve crimes (Willem Dafoe), and Odd’s sultry girlfriend Stormy (Addison Timlin), this is a thoroughly ramshackle production, apparently costing $27 million though largely appearing to be shot for around one tenth of that figure.

Aside from Sommers’ auto-pilot direction, there’s some truly laughable visual effects and a woefully generic score that too often suffocates the more tender, downplayed scenes it appears in. Yelchin proves to be as charming a lead as ever, and Dafoe gets some much-needed time-out from his serious artistic pursuits, but the overly insistent voice-over fails to make much sense of the scarcely coherent plot, even as it aims for emotional resonance in its final portion.

A promising adaptation of the acclaimed novel is stymied by Stephen Sommers’ amateur direction, horrendous visual effects, ham-fisted voiceover narration and a murder mystery plot that’s impossible to care about.

 

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This article was first posted on August 29, 2013