Thursday, August 14, 2008

MARTIAN CHILD - banal bonding movie

Actor John Cusack and director Menne Meyjes are reunited in sentimental father-son bonding drama, MARTIAN CHILD. Cusack plays a grieving sci-fi author who fosters a disturbed young child who combats his feeling of isolation by claiming to be a martian - photosensitive and thus unable to come out from under a box and play with the other kids. Cusack's character starts to believe that the kid might actually be an alien - so spooky is his ability to predict when traffic lights will turn green. The film-makers certainly lead the audience down this road. But in the final analysis, the film-makers aren't particularly interested in creating a spoooooooky film, but a sentimental one. The final scene sees Cusack's character battling a sceptical social welfare panel for the right to adopt the child and there are no prizes for guessing how it all turns out. Paternal love can be the foundation of powerful drama - viz Cusack's GRACE IS GONE - but not in this hackneyed treatment.

The technical aspects of this film are fine but nothing special, and you could say the same for the performances, barring Joan Cusack as a scabrous older sister.

MARTIAN CHILD was released in the US in fall 2007. It went straight to video in the UK and is currently available on DVD.

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