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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

By MATTHEW SINGER
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a movie for anyone prone to existential crises during soft-drink commercials. Based on James Thurber’s 1939 short story about a teenage punk rocker-turned-graying office drone with severe delusional psychosis (because one can only assume director-star Ben Stiller remained totally faithful to the source material), the film adopts a long-winded motto from Life magazine as its motivational tagline-cum-greeting card message that can be easily distilled down to “Do the Dew, brah!” Spurred by a shitty new boss (Adam Scott with General Zod facial hair), love interest (Kristen Wiig, less phoning in her performance than texting it while in line at the post office) and spirit animal (Sean Penn), Stiller’s Mitty sets off to make his vivid daydreams into reality. Soon he’s bounding through airports to the tune of Arcade Fire, leaping out of helicopters, fighting sharks and skateboarding toward erupting volcanoes. The thing quickly blows up into an extended Super Bowl ad break—complete with promotions for eHarmony, Papa John’s, Cinnabon and whatever cellphone carrier has coverage in the Himalayas—with all the heart and genuine emotion that suggests.
 
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Running Time: 114 minutes
  • Release Date: Thursday, December 26, 2013
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: PG [ Action Violence, Language, Some Crude Comments ]
  • Critic's Score: D+
  • Starring: Ben Stiller [Walter Mitty], Kristen Wiig [Cheryl], Shirley MacLaine [Edna], Adam Scott [Ted Hendricks], Kathryn Hahn [Odessa], Sean Penn [Sean O'Connell], Patton Oswalt [Todd Maher], Adrian Martinez [Hernando], Olfur Olafsson [Pilot]
  • Directed by: Ben Stiller [Director], Steve Conrad [Screenwriter], Samuel Goldwyn [Producer], John Goldwyn [Producer], Stuart Cornfeld [Producer], Ben Stiller [Producer], Gore Verbinski [Executive Producer], Meyer Gottlieb [Executive Producer], G. Mac Brown [Executive Producer], Stuart Dryburgh [Cinematographer], Greg Hayden [Film Editor], Theodore Shapiro [Original Music], Jeff Mann [Production Design], David Swayze [Art Director], Regina Graves [Set Decoration], Sarah Edwards [Costume Designer], Rachel Tenner [Casting]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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