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Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas

What She said:

She

Odd Thomas (yes, that’s his real name) has an amazing skill.  He can see dead people.  Furthermore, he’s able to also see these little demon entities called bodachs that follow around those who are about to be involved in particularly gruesome and violent deaths.  Now, in the case of the bodachs, they may follow victims or the perpetrators who murder them.  And so bodachs, while deadly, are of use to Odd in heading off criminal death before it takes place.  The only problem is that bodachs like to do what they do in private, and so they’ll knock off anyone who they think can see them.  Odd must therefore hide his special ability from them.

So Odd goes about his days solving murders and helping dead people transition into the beyond, while holding down a day job as a cook at a diner.  I should also note that Odd seems to have some additional physical prowess when compared to your average Joe.  The only people who know about his skills are his loyal girlfriend, Stormy, and Sheriff Wyatt Porter, who often works alongside Odd.  Stormy works at an ice cream shop in the mall, and spends much of her free time keeping Odd in check—you know, making sure that he doesn’t get killed.

Odd is doing his norm, when he starts to notice more and more bodachs floating around town.  And not just more by multiples of one, we’re talking hundreds of the suckers.  And instead of hovering around one or two people, they’re clinging to a large portion of the population.  Odd knows that something big is about to happen.  He starts to target who he believes in the eventual perpetrator and looks for clues to head off tragedy before it occurs.  Can Odd save his town and the people he loves before it’s too late?

Odd Thomas

This film is shot in a way that makes it feel a little bit like a video game.  It’s quite stylized, and yet also hinges on dialogue that feels almost like a high school TV show.  Nothing here is overcomplicated, and so you can just sit back and watch the action unfold.  Odd seems like an interesting enough fella, and Anton Yelchin plays him well.  He’s actually a pretty funny and quirky guy, and that makes him engaging to watch.  Stormy goes back and forth between being a disposable tag-along character, and actually relevant to keeping Odd on task.  She’s adorable, although the name Stormy is more practical for a dog than it is for a human, but whatever.  She’s the raisin to Odd’s oatmeal raisin cookie.  Willem Dafoe plays Sheriff Wyatt, and he has a pretty funny relationship with Odd, although it is not fully explored in this film.

Odd Thomas is quite light—probably lighter than it needs to be, and it’s for this reason that it won’t really stick with you as a memorable movie.  Like I said before, it almost feels like a TV show.  Very Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  But it seems to try pretty hard, and I give it credit for that.  The world created on screen feels just a little too comic-bookish for it to really hit the viewer hard in any way.  There are some cute laughs, but nothing that will make you fall out of your chair.  While I think the story could be made into something pretty scary to watch, this film offers little in the way of chills.  It does have a decent amount of action, and feels well-paced.  I just wish the other elements were a little more consistent.

Overall, this movie was a fun watch but nothing to write home about.  There’s a lot of potential with this story and the cinematographic angle.  I wish it had been fleshed out a little more.  One thing I did like was the character of Odd Thomas, and I do hope that I might come across him again in the future, whether on the big or small screen.

Thumbs mostly up.

Odd Thomas

What He said:

He
Odd Thomas

Like another famous movie character, Odd Thomas sees dead people. He sees them, they see him, and they come to him for help on how to crossover to the afterlife. It usually involves dealing with people who have unfinished business; such as brining their killers to justice. This can sometimes be tricky, because in this story, the living can’t hear the dead. They move their mouths, and I’m sure they hear themselves when they speak, but we can’t hear it.

Odd (Anton Yelching) can also see something else most other people can’t. He can see these creatures called bodachs. Bodachs are evil spirits who tend to show up whenever something bad is about to happen. They don’t cause the bad things to happen, but are there to observe and feed off of the negative energy created by horrific events. They are kind of like the vampires of the spirit world.

A couple of things have recently happened to Odd. First, he has had a dream that appears to be a premonition of an impending disaster. Without giving too much away, it involves a shooting in which a lot of people die. His coworker and friend, Viola, has had a similar dream, only it is a little more central to her and her kids. She had a dream that they are all gunned down. While there’s no indication it’s the same event, Odd theorizes that it is. Bodachs have also started to show up and in numbers like Odd has never seen before. They are congregating around a guy Odd and his girlfriend Stormy (Addison Timlin) have nicknamed “Fungas Bob” (Shuler Hensley) because of a rather odd haircut. Now Odd doesn’t know Fungus Bob is the cause of or victim of a future disaster, but Odd suspects the former. I can’t really blame him either, anyone with a haircut like that is obviously up to no good. Odd also suspects that all of these things are connected, though he has no proof.

Odd Thomas

There are a few people central to Odd’s life. First is his girlfriend Stormy, who I mentioned earlier. She is aware of his unique abilities. Stormy has a way of carrying herself that I can’t quite put into words. She speaks in a way that sort of reminds me of a cross between Yoda and a gal from an old noir style movie . For example, “Loop me in, Odd One” is how she asks him what is going on in his life. I find it to be both amusing and adorable. I can’t compare the Addison Timlin’s performance to how the character is written in the book, but I found her performance to be extremely endearing. She also has wonderful chemistry with Anton Yelchin. The other person in Odd’s life is Chief Wyatt Porter (Willen Dafoe). Along with Stormy, Chief Porter is one of the few people who know about Odd’s special talents. He has been the beneficiary of it many times, as Odd has often helped the police – often inexplicably – solve cases. He also helps cover up or come up with rational explanations for how Odd does this; as most people are not aware of ghosts, monsters, and other creatures from the afterlife. Chief Porter too has this kind of old world feel to him. He’s also a father figure to Odd.

I mentioned above that a few of the characters have a very old school crime story feel to them. This movie is also a mixture of genres. It’s got action, romance, laughs, monsters, and it all blends together quite well. It’s a very quirky, light, but entertaining movie that manages to have some heart too. As my partner said, it is very Buffy The Vampire Slayer. That’s a good thing for me, because I thought Buffy was a pretty entertaining TV show. It also reminds me of series of books I am currently reading. The Dresden Files follow a modern day wizard who is Chicago’s only paranormal investigator. And if I’m being honest here, it also reminds me of Scooby Doo, which even Buffy pays homage too several times throughout the series. This mixture works for me. I think critics are nuts. They were not particularly kind to this movie. I thought it was a lot of fun. It’s very light, fun, and quirky. I would love to see more from this character, but I since practically nobody saw this movie it will never happen. I certainly recommend it though. It’s an entertaining movie and that counts for something with me.

I was also surprised I liked it because Director Stephen Sommers hasn't done anything decent in years. The first Mummy movie is fun, but he's had a bunch of stinkers since. I was surprised to see him make a movie that entertained me.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on April 6, 2014.

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