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PopGap #32: Odd Thomas (2013)

PopGap #32: Odd Thomas (2013)

Directed by Stephen Sommers
Written by dorrk
22 September 2017

Even in death, we still have a pathetic need to be liked...

Odd Thomas is kind of a mess, and there are many valid reasons for any discerning moviegoer to dislike this quasi-horror action comedy, but sometimes the full commitment of a good cast can turn a small disaster into a small success, so I found myself enjoying it despite its ramshackle world building, its generic visual and its often poor visual effects.

Anton Yelchin stars as Odd, a young man of supernatural action who uses his sixth sense to exact retribution on human monsters and attempt to avert impending horrors. When Odd senses that his idyllic small town is about to host a large-scale massacre, he, his plucky girlfriend (Addison Timlin), and a father-figurish detective (Willem Dafoe), try to decipher Odd's otherworldly premonitions and prevent disaster.

Based on the first of a series of books by popular horror novelist Dean Koontz, Odd Thomas has a surprisingly light comic book style. Although its humorous tone has been attempted by many, director Stephen Sommers makes it hit here more than it misses, owing a big debt to the engaging performances from Yelchin, Simmons and Dafoe. At times, the too-snappy dialog is annoying rather than cute, and — just like in his 199 hit The Mummy — Sommers seems far more concerned with slick pacing than narrative coherence; but, again, that fine and appealing cast always manages to paper over its sizable cracks. Yelchin, in fact, turns in a somewhat stunning performance during the film's conclusion, giving so much more of himself that one would naturally expect from such a quirky genre picture that he momentarily transforms a semi-hackneyed plot twist into an emotionally stirring conclusion. It is a great sadness that the late Yelchin will not be around to provide far better movies with the same honest and fearless energy that he gave to Odd Thomas; he was a special actor, and this daffy supernatural thriller is further proof of it. Patton Oswalt makes a brief appearance.

Odd Thomas was brought to my Potluck Film Fest by Flickcharter Nick Dallas. He ranks it on his Flickchart at #581 / 2181 (73%), putting it at #5 out of the 15 movies designated as Supernatural Thrillers on Flickchart. Odd Thomas ranked on my overall chart at #1718 (56%), where it's my 10th favorite Supernatural Thriller out of 35, according to Flickchart.

PopGap #32: Odd Thomas (2013)

Trailer for Odd Thomas (2013)