ODD THOMAS DVD (2013)
SYNOPSIS: Small-town fry cook Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) is an ordinary guy with a paranormal secret: he sees dead people, everywhere. When a creepy stranger shows-up with an entourage of ghostly bodachs – predators who feed on pain and portend mass destruction – Odd knows that his town is in serious trouble. Teaming up with his sweetheart Stormy (Addison Timlin) and the local sheriff (Willem Dafoe), Odd plunges into an epic battle of good vs evil to try to stop a disaster of apocalyptic proportions. Based on the best-selling thriller by Dean Koontz, ODD THOMAS is a supernatural action thrill-ride from the acclaimed director of The Mummy and G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra.
Unceremoniously dumped into DVD, Odd Thomas is one quirky title that doesn’t really deserved a premature death. It’s a movie with flaws but still it’s far entertaining than the average releases theaters churned out.
Directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, G.I. Joe) with source material from popular writer Dean Koontz, Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Terminator Salvation) stars as the titular character Odd Thomas, a small-town cook who possesses the ability to see ghosts and bodachs aka mysterious spirited creatures that look liked Spider-man’s Venom mixed with Aliens. As the bodachs feed on carnage and fear, Odd believed that something terrible is about to happen to his hometown, Pico Mundo when he encountered numerous bodachs at the diner one day. With his faithful girlfriend, Stormy (Addison Timlin) and the local police chief, Wyatt (Willem Dafoe) at his side, Odd is determined to find out the cause behind the dark force or risking the death of innocent lives.
Sommers is best known for his brand of camp humor and visually stylistic touches given his works in the Mummy series and he indeed balances it rather particularly well for that genre. Thus it’s not a surprise Sommers decides to port it over to Odd Thomas as well though this one is a much scale-down supernatural adventure as compared to the Mummy. It’s almost like Sommers is paying tribute to Peter Jackson’s unappreciated The Frighteners. The tone is often comic, offbeat instead of chilling. Odd’s physic investigations often end up with sudden loud bodachs appearances and that’s about how far the scary-o-meter goes.
Yelchin, one of critics’ favourite young actors of this generation doesn’t disappoint with his portrayal of Odd. He is charming and convincing enough as a character who struggles to keep his unique ability a secret and at the same time, racing against time to save the world. Opposite Timlin who plays his girlfriend, the two exudes plenty of chemistry to keep the movie going. Willem Dafoe as always is a welcome presence and his police chief character is extremely likeable. Look out for Patton Oswalt’s cameo appearance as he played an important character from the book which is strangely left out in the movie version and also Arnold Vosloo, a regular of Sommers.
I must add I didn’t read Koontz’s original work so I’m not going to compare it in details here. Odd Thomas is a fun supernatural indie flick, it’s fast-paced, amusing and maybe even romantic to some (teary also) especially towards the end. If you missed Yelchin in another horror comedy, the remake of Fright Night, do check out Odd instead.
While the CGI falters at certain scenes, the images and colour palette on the whole fares pretty good. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is rather aggressive and powerful especially during scenes of peril. Sommers is an old hand in summer blockbusters, he knows the rules. The louder the better.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee