How does a child who appreciates the nuances of Bridge to Terabithia grow up to like something as deplorable as 300? This is not a mystery The Last Mimzy answers, but the film recognizes that we are at a precarious point in our human evolution. The film updates Lewis Padgett’s 1943 short story Mimsy Were the Borogoves, keeping its basic premise in tact but engaging with current affairs. A brother and sister, Noah (Chris O’Neil) and Emma (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn), find a box in the ocean that expels a series of objects. Among the curious things is a stuffed rabbit Emma calls Mimzy, who whispers to the little girl about a crisis in a far-off land and the goings-on in other people’s heads. The siblings benefit from the mysteries of their alien objects until they realize that their purpose is greater than helping Noah win the science fair, and this is where The Last Mimzy, in spite of its pedestrian direction, becomes something rather special. When the adults in Noah and Emma’s lives realize the children are possibly gifted, the story begins to move at a gripping, unpredictable clip, not unlike a Choose Your Own Adventure. An off-putting but brilliant little shot has Noah’s science teacher, Larry (Rainn Wilson), looking at the boy’s etchings of Tibetan mandalas, but the audience can only see the drawings through the reflection in the teacher’s glasses. This unique angle becomes a metaphor for Noah and Emma’s divine awakening, and as the film builds to its nail-biting conclusion, the children will have connected with the War on Terror and foreign philosophical belief systems in the interest of mankind’s salvation. In the process, messages both big and small are pushed (about familial love and keeping hope alive in times of crisis), none more heartening than its belief that children are more than our futures, there are keys to it.
- Robert Shaye
- Toby Emmerich, Bruce Joel Rubin
- Rhiannon Leigh Wryn, Chris O'Neil, Rainn Wilson, Timothy Hutton, Kathryn Hahn, Kirsten Williamson, Marc Musso, Megan McKinnon
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