Directed by Stephen Sommers
Distributed by Image Entertainment
Based on a series of novels by Dean Koontz, Odd Thomas introduces us to the title character who is… unique. Odd has a variety of powers that include the ability to see dead people (and avenge wrongful deaths) and supernatural creatures. He’s also a slick short order cook and can more than handle himself in a fight. He’s kind of like a superhero, but one that you can relate to.
Anton Yelchin stars as Odd and is quite charismatic in the role. And, of course, he would need to be as the entire movie (and any sequels that were certainly in mind when the film was made) is all based around him and his strange abilities.
As is the case with most movies that are based on beloved novels, it’s obvious that the filmmakers tried to cram in as much detail from the book as possible, but you can only do so much in 90 minutes. Therefore, oftentimes the movie comes across feeling more like a summary of the book instead of the whole story. And that is the case with Odd Thomas. You hit the high points here and there, and the people who read the book will know where to fill in the holes. Unfortunately, those who are not previously familiar with Odd Thomas may find themselves feeling like they’re coming to the party a little late. It’s the dilemma of the filmmaker adapting a book. Whom do you play to? Of course you have to give the fans of the source material what they are looking for, but you also have to make a movie that will appeal to those who haven’t read it. The movie needs to be able to stand on its own. Odd Thomas is okay as a stand-alone movie, but it does feel like we’re only getting pieces of the whole story, which, of course, is true.
Even though Odd Thomas has some holes, we’re treated to a really enjoyable cast to help take our minds off any shortcomings. Yelchin is lovable as Odd, and his chemistry with love interest Stormy Llewellyn (played by Addison Timlin) is great. And they need to be great together as their relationship is important to give the climax of the movie real power. And the always fantastic Willem Dafoe is very good as Chief Wyatt Porter as well.
Additionally, there are some excellent digital effects in Odd Thomas. And that’s no surprise as the man who directed the film (and also wrote the screenplay and co-produced) is Stephen Sommers. Sommers is no stranger to outstanding digital F/X as he was the man behind The Mummy series as well as Van Helsing and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Sommers is a great guy to have behind the lens if you want some digital magic to happen. And happen it does as Odd has the ability to see strange wraith-like creatures called bodachs that gather when something very bad is going to happen as they feed on tragedy. The bodachs look incredible. Only Odd can see them, and they are never fully solid. They seem to waver between different levels of invisibility. Their silvery shimmer, gruesome appearance, and unique way of moving (like a cat and a snake at the same time) make for characters that are visually stunning and a great addition to the film.
We find ourselves on an adventure with Odd, Stormy, and Chief Wyatt as Odd is trying to figure out just why so many of these bodachs are suddenly appearing in the cozy little town of Pico Mundo, California. Sommers does a decent job of introducing us to all the characters in the tale while still moving the story along. It’s a tricky balancing act. As stated earlier, the story itself falters a bit and many of the antagonistic characters are not developed much at all, but that also has to be chalked up to time constraints. There is only so much you can put into an hour and a half. Perhaps if we were to get a little more background on the baddies, it might have pulled the story together better.
In addition to the bodachs crawling all over the place, Odd has plenty of other baddies he’s got to deal with, some living and some more otherworldly. The movie has tons of great action as good and evil square off. There are some effective fight scenes, and the finale has really intense action as well. We get a plot twist that results in a rather emotional ending to Odd Thomas just before the superhero-esque closing scene.
As far as special features, neither the Blu-ray nor DVD version of Odd Thomas has any.
Aside from a somewhat lumpy story, Odd Thomas is a fun movie. The characters (although some are rather thin) are enjoyable and easy to relate to. The action is fast-paced and the F/X are really cool. Aside from the bodachs there isn’t a lot that’s going to scare you here. Odd Thomas is more of a conglomeration of genres touching on everything from horror to action and even comedy. There is a very nice comedic vein that runs through the entire movie. You’ll enjoy getting to know Odd and his friends. Not a masterpiece, but definitely entertaining.
3 1/2 out of 5
0 out of 5