Are you wondering if you should watch this movie? I decided to write this post, after reading the 1- and 2-star reviews, with a TEST to help answer that question.
TEST # 1. When you are given a present, do you: a) open it slowly, delighting in the mystery, enjoying the look on the gift giver's face as the suspense heightens? Or, b) rip open the paper, look at the gift and say, "Oh, thanks Aunt Millie," and then go back to your phone wondering how many of your followers are reading your Instagram posts about what a lame [insert holiday] you're having?
TEST # 2. The last time you tried to solve a maze, did you: a) carefully work your way around it, sometimes having to back up and erase until you reached the goal? Or, b) start from the center and work your way out because it was faster, with no erasing and, really, you just wanted to finish the [insert adjective] thing?
If you answered (a) to both questions, then start the movie. There is no need to read any further. Seriously. Just hit PLAY.
If you answered (b) to both questions, you have probably already given up on this post and are now watching the trailer for 'Transforming Mutant Lego Dino Droids'. I don't even know why I am still writing to you.
If you answered one of each, then read on. I don't consider any of this to be spoilers. But you should know that this film does not have any car chases, although someone does almost get run over by a horse ... and there IS a chase scene but it's on foot. Know that you will probably not jump out of your seat and yell, "Wow!" or "Holy [insert expletive]!" But you may find yourself saying, "Oh,' and "Aha," and "ohhh, wow." You won't scream, but you might cry. There are no explosions ... well, there is something you could CALL an 'explosion', but it's more of an Act of [insert Deity]. There are no dinosaurs - no, I take that back. There ARE dinosaurs, they just don't talk or eat people. In fact, Jeff Goldblum isn't even IN this movie. There is a whale, but no one is trying to help it escape. There are no wizards, but there is a gentleman in a white beard who runs a shop that could be converted into Ollivander's without too much effort. There are no aliens, but there is a giant meteorite that came from space. New York City DOES get plunged into a blackout, but there are no shirtless heroes grabbing Uzis and hitting the streets. For the record, there ARE several shirtless males, but they are just trying to stay cool on a hot day in the city. And, finally, this is not an animated movie, but there is a brilliant scene that uses animation to tell a back story. I mean it is [insert expletive-adjective] Brilliant! Oh, there ARE wolves and they ARE chasing someone, but that's in the first two minutes, so .... I should also warn you that a large part of this movie is in black-and-white. It's a well used narrative device to help you track where and when you are. Think the Wizard of Oz. And also be warned that parts of the film have no dialogue ... or even sound. It's all part of the experience. Think of it as anti-IMAX.
The final TEST [#3] is this. Have you EVER wondered what your place was in the world? Where you really belonged? Ever lost anyone through divorce or death or simply because one of you moved away, and you felt all alone? If you answered b) "No," then go back to Instagram. But if any of the above intrigues you and you answered a) "yes," then I think you should hit the PLAY button. I think you will find it worth your while.