Is it premature to say that time has forgotten this 2013 supernatural mystery thriller? Well, no.
“Why not?”, I hear you cry through your angry tears, lamenting the cruel fate of this eight year old box office bomb. Well, the answer is relatively simple: how many people actually knew (or remembered) that this film even existed?
You see, despite the apparently winning combination of writer/director/producer Stephen Sommers, the impressive casting of Anton Yelchin and Willem Dafoe in starring roles (with Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Patton Oswalt also making appearances), and its highly successful source material in Dean Koontz’s bestselling book series of the same name, it still failed to capture any significant audience.
Before I begin talking about why this is or isn’t justified, I’m going to hit you with a (brief) review.
Yelchin plays the titular clairvoyant short-order cook as he discovers a plot to destroy his home-town, and must battle both humans and other-wordly monsters in order to prevent his vision from coming true.
The film’s general plot is a little generic, although the central mystery is made far more compelling by Odd’s powers and his inherent quirkiness. Yelchin is absolutely perfect in the role, and the special sort of outsider charm he brings to proceedings epitomises the film’s main draw: it’s weird.
The good thing about Odd Thomas is that while its story is fairly routine, its approach to its characters and its visual storytelling is genuinely refreshing. It doesn’t rely overly heavily on its CGI, but even that holds up relatively well. There’s a creative strangeness to the way the film presents Odd and his powers that brings the viewer into his chaotic mind, all tied together nicely by Yelchin’s narration. This, however, is about the end of the positives.
It was certainly fun, but it wasn’t particularly innovative or original, and it suffers from an odd sort of pacing that makes the first half drag painfully, and the last half flash by so fast you’re likely to miss a few things. In places, it’s a lot of fun, and in others, you’ll consider switching it off and walking away. This, combined with a number of less than stellar reviews, put a lot of people off, and ultimately, it was a pretty heavy box office flop.
Personally, I enjoyed it, although I have very little desire to ever watch it again, which I suppose is the film’s biggest problem – what could have marked the start of a series of films instead was carried off on the tide of time like an errant fart in the wind, and honestly, it’s pretty hard to care.
Summary: Equal parts fun and uninteresting, this reasonably enjoyable mystery/thriller simply failed to impress, leading to its swift passing into obscurity.
Highlight: Yelchin is great as Odd, and watching him carry the entire film on his shoulders is probably worth two hours of your time on its own.