The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is the new film directed by Ben Stiller, who usually when stepping behind the camera as well as staring normal does all out comedy like Zoolander or Tropic Thunder. Walter Mitty is a more of an ambitious film that at its heart has a more of an independent spirit about it. Ben Stiller stars as the title character, someone who has never been on an adventure in his life but has consistent day dreams of epic fancies of wooing Kristen Wigg and taking revenge on his condescending new boss (Adam Scott) as a way escape his mundane life as an employee for Time magazine.
When he receives at set photo negatives from photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) with the most important one missing. Walter sets off on his own adventure to find Sean and find the missing negative that needs to be used for the over of the last issue. Stepping up to the task, Walter decides to go on an adventure for the first time in his life, taking him to Greenland while finding himself in scenarios that echo his day dreams as he finally breaks from routine and discovers himself.
Hitting you hard with a euphoric soundtrack from bands like Arcade Fire and Of Monsters and Men, this goes for big and quirky all at the same time. Going into this I was concerned that a neat concept that this may come off as a tad self-indulgent. After all with a star like Ben Stiller directing himself in a role that he does seem to little too old for. However that isn’t the case as Stiller stepped into the vacant directors chair after already singed on for the lead role, it is clear that he has a passion for the project and wanted to see it made and does a great job that has a lot of charm.
Overall the performances are good and decent, Wigg is great as the love interest that spears him on his quest for the missing negative, Shirley MacLaine adds solid support as his mother while Adam Scott’s beard alone makes his character a douche bag from the moment to see him and Sean Penn is game for what is essentially an extended cameo. The film does fall down towards the end as it tries tie all the loose ends to a satisfying conclusion, but it does get there in what could come off as anticlimactic with the reveal of what could possibly be on the highly important picture negative. It does feel too quirky for its own good but made with the best intentions and with enough charm to carry it through, Walter Mitty was a very pleasant surprise