Movie Name: Odd Thomas
Studio: Fusion Films
Release Date(s): April 6, 2013 (River Bend Film Festival)/February 28, 2014
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) lives up to his name. Like his mother, Odd can see the dead and instead just ignoring them, Odd seeks out to help him. With the love of his life Stormy Llewellyn (Addison Timlin) and Police Chief Wyatt Porter (Willem Dafoe), Odd sets out to solve crimes when they come to him…and avoiding the bodach spirits that follow evil. When Odd sees the bodach swarming and encounters a man named Fungus Bob (Shuler Hensley), Odd realizes problems are headed to the town. Odd must stop Fungus Bob’s plans before it is too late!
Directed by Stephen Sommers, Odd Thomas adapts the 2003 Dean Koontz novel. A lawsuit involving a breach of contract with the film’s production created problems before the film was released. The movie received average to negative reviews and had a small box office release.
I actually read Odd Thomas when it came out. It as a quick read and had its moments. Like most of Koontz stuff, it felt a little half-baked, and the movie also feels half-baked as a result.
The writing for the movie is a bit too clever and comes off sounding forced. The characters talk very hip, and while this worked in movies like Scream, it feels unrealistic here. Odd Thomas’ power also is very convenient. It leads him to things he needs when he needs them, but other times, it completely fails…it just seems like plot convenience. The movie’s ending seems a bit obvious as well (the only place in the town that is hopping is the mall…and it doesn’t seem like “small town” when they go there).
Yelchin despite the script is charming, and it makes it more tragic that he passed suddenly. Addison Timlin is also nice, but Willem Dafoe feels like he is slumming it in the movie (ok he does that occasionally). I like Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Odd’s waitress coworker, but much of the class is also bland. Patton Oswald also cameos in the movie.
The visuals are ok. The movie’s biggest special effects are the bodachs and they are kind of cool, but not very defined…amorphous blobs are not that scary. The movie tries to do some trick photography in the lines of The Sixth Sense, but it comes off as cheap.
Odd Thomas isn’t the worst film you’ll ever see, but it also isn’t very inspiring. The book was the start of a series, and you can tell the filmmakers hoped that Odd would continue his adventures. Unfortunately, the lukewarm response to the film and Yelchin’s death probably forever stopped Odd from returning…at least in this form. I could see this developing into a TV series sometime in the future, but I would just let Odd die.