Review: The Last Mimzy

The Last Mimzy is charming little picture about children finding a box of toys and saving the world. Unlike many studio products of this type (Disney, I'm looking at you) this is a smart script that doesn't rely on stupid adults and silly action-oriented plot devices to move the story forward (not that there's anything wrong with silly action . . . every once in a while). Though smart, the story lacked the kind of dramatic tension and sophistication that would make it a must see.

Rated: 3 / 5

The Last Mimzy opens in a pastoral setting with playing children. We're invited to hear the story of how Emma and Noah Wilder saved humanity with a device called a "Mimzy". Cut to present day and the Wilder family, where we get too much back story and too little plot. The pace finally picks up when the children discover the Mimzy and a mystery engages us: What exactly do these toys do and how will they help save the world? The mystery deepens as the kids begin figuring out the toys but are also changed by them. Is this for better or worse? And when one of the toys causes a huge power failure the US Homeland Security becomes involved.

In spite of some dramatic story points there's never any sense of true danger for the safety of the characters, or any doubt the children will succeed. The story is also very simplistic. There are no discernable subplots to compliment the main storyline or strong themes to compliment the plot. This is fine for a younger audience but prevented Mimzy from providing the kind of pleasure I get from Pixar movies.

Even with these problems there was enough going on in the story to keep me interested throughout the movie. Although I felt too much was revealed early on in the story there were enough small mysteries and reveals to keep me engaged. I particularly liked the portrayal of the adults, though they inhabited their adult world, not the children's, they were not clueless and uncaring. We're not subjected to that old trope of having a story only because the child was cut off in mid-sentence while trying to tell the adult what's happening. The performance by Rhiannon Leigh Wryn as six year old Emma Wilder was wonderful. I also enjoyed the performances of Rainn Wilson (of Office Space fame) and Kathryn Hahn as the couple where science meets the spiritual.

The Last Mimzy isn't a must see movie, but if you're looking for a nice little science fiction piece with a bit of charm give it a view. Although a family film, I'm fairly sure younger kids will be bored in spite of a six year old protagonist and it won't be cool enough for most older teens. If you have experience with age groups who enjoyed it, please leave a comment and share.

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