Odd Thomas Blu-ray Review
With movies like THE MUMMY, VAN HELSING and G.I. JOE: RISE OF COBRA under his belt, I was a little surprised that Stephen Sommers’ latest directorial effort, ODD THOMAS, got such a limited theatrical run. With stars like Anton Yelchin and Willem Dafoe, the movie had a little star power and it’s even based on a popular Dean Koontz novel. The film was famously troubled with production problems as financers couldn’t agree on whom was going to pay for what and ultimately, a quality film suffered because of bickering producers. Alas, ODD THOMAS went straight to home video and surprisingly, this might be Sommers’ best directorial effort to date. Granted, he’s responsible for a lot of really bad movies, but ODD THOMAS showed some signs that he might be growing as a director.
Odd Thomas (the lead character is actually named “Odd”) is kind of like a grown up Cole from THE SIXTH SENSE, if Cole decided he was going to help dead people solve mysteries. But the idea is that Odd Thomas (Yelchin) sees dead people and then investigates what happened to them, with only a few people in on his secret including his girlfriend Stormy (Addison Timlin) and a local detective (Willem Dafoe). In his current plight, Odd is trying to protect the people he loves while trying to stop an impending mass murder spree from happening.
I say this is Sommers’ best work because for the first time, the action in the film actually makes sense. It also helps that he kept everything in check and focused more on Odd’s relationships with the people around him rather than throwing in one mindless action scene after another. I appreciated Sommers taking the time to establish the world of Odd Thomas and bring the audience along slowly. It helped get us involved in the story and made the ending that much more impactful.
The film does tend to drag at times, especially in the middle as it turns to more of a murder mystery. The mystery works fine, but it needed some spicing up. I don’t mind Anton Yelchin, but this is the first time he has led his own film and the results are mixed. His naturally whiney voice makes it difficult to buy him as a hero, which is why it might have been better to make him more of a reluctant hero rather than an eager one. However, his acting ability and self-awareness make Odd a likeable and believable guy, even in a supernatural setting.
The production quality is much better than you’ll find in most straight to video films, leading me to believe that at one time or another, there were serious plans to give this a full theatrical run. It wouldn’t have shattered any box office records, but I’m sure it would have played well with the PG-13 horror audience. With that said, the film would have worked much better as a TV show, especially on HBO, Showtime or NetFlix. Odd Thomas is a great character and I’d like to see more of him, but maybe not in movie form.
ODD THOMAS BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: ODD THOMAS looks surprisingly great on Blu-ray.
Audio: The audio was just as impressive.
Unfortunately, special features can be expensive and with a movie struggling financially anyway, it’s not surprise this release is light on features.