Last Mimzy
This rabbit show is way more than I bargained for.

Theatrical Release Date: 03/23/2007
Director: Bob Shaye
Cast: Chris O’Neil, Rhiannon Leigh Wryn, Joely Richardson, Timothy Hutton, Rainn Wilson, Kathryn Hahn, Michael Clarke Duncan

I often wonder why Hollywood doesn’t seem to make movies like they used to.

When I was a kid, there were a plethora of movies that sparked wonder and ignited my imagination; from “Flight of the Navigator” to “The Neverending Story” to “The Goonies” to even films like “D.A.R.Y.L.” and “Cloak & Dagger”.

Those films all transported me to another world, where the only limitation was how far my mind would take me … hold on, I’ve gotta vomit after actually writing that trite sentence.

Okay, that’s better.

Part of the problem might be that I’m no longer a kid (physically) and have become a jaded, cynical adult (physically).

Maybe films like “Spy Kids” and “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl” do the same thing for kids today.

I think that’s just plain sad but I’m not hip like all those young kids boppin’ around to their Dan Fogelberg records and eating their Hot Pockets.

However, there’s finally a film that harkens back to my youth in the grand tradition of fantastic adventures where kids save the world from their bumbling parents: “The Last Mimzy”.

In this tale, two ordinary kids discover “toys” on the beach that grant them extraordinary powers and knowledge. While they just revel in the fun and wonder, the audience learns that those objects were sent back from the future in an attempt to save humanity.

Obviously, to make this film work, the kids have to do a good job. And they do … mostly.

The older brother is played fairly straight and well by Chris O’Neil. Still, his character’s role is essentially to stay out of the way of his little sister, played by Rhiannon Leigh Wryn. Wryn is the precocious nougat center of the film and her attachment to the stuffed bunny (which we learn is Mimzy) is nothing short of adorable.

However, here’s where I find the first fault with the film. Her character gains the ability to levitate some of the objects they find on the beach and she is so happy to show her babysitter, as one might expect of such a young girl.

That she can do this isn’t the point, it’s the glee with which she does it that creeps me out. In this, and just about every other scene, she uses her abilities with such a wide grin on her face that all I can think of are children in cornfields and babies born on June 6, 2006.

Sure, I’m a cynic and I’m probably overplaying it in my own head, but she just felt demonic to me. I was always left wondering if she’d spin her head around and start projectile vomiting all over the place.

Satan’s little helper aside, the other problem I have with the film is that there isn’t really any explanation of the events. You get a vague sense of things and the reasons behind them but no real revelation.

But wait, don’t give up on the film just yet. There are also some very cool aspects to “The Last Mimzy”. First, there’s a connection made to “Alice Through The Looking Glass” for the adult set who get this reference. Then there’s the sense of nostalgia that the film evokes.

Like those great fantasy films of the 80’s, the kids are the ones with the power and courage to save the day. The parents are cautious and scared about what’s going on and the government tries to stop them too.

It’s like being transported back to my childhood to enjoy a summer afternoon again. Though in bringing up the governmental interference in the film, I bring about my last downside to the film.

Because of their actions, the kids have garnered the attention of Homeland Security, who think there might be a terrorist plot unfolding. I like a bit of realism as much as the next guy but this is a kid’s film. I see no reason to try and make Homeland Security look like a bunch of dopes and overzealous thieves of our civil liberties.

This political jab was unnecessary and took away from the overall fun and wonder that the film was trying to convey. It’s made even more unnecessary as the film concludes and the head of Homeland Security in the area doesn’t bother to do anything about what happens.

He spends all this time, energy and manpower tracking down the kids, only to shrug his shoulders and let everyone go home for a good night’s rest once everything’s been resolved.

I sort of liked this homage to basically ending movies and TV shows with a still frame of everyone laughing, no matter how serious the events – but it really felt more like the screenwriters were stuck and just needed a way to get Homeland Security off-screen so they could finish the movie focused on the family.

Even with all of that negative criticism, I did like the movie. You do need to suspend your disbelief like you did as a child and just go along for the ride but if you can do that, there’s a lot of fun to be had here.

“The Last Mimzy” gets a 3 out of 5 from me. I thought about going higher because of the throwback nature of the film but the elements I criticized kept it at the passing grade. Now I just have find that copy of “Flight of the Navigator” and drink for each different color Sarah Jessica Parker is sporting in her hair. Good times.