The Reel Deal: Martian Child out of this world


I had two movie options for the week of Nov. 2. It was either going to be "American Gangster," with hottie Russell Crowe, or "Martian Child" with my adolescent crush John Cusack.

I chose "Martian Child" for a few reasons, the first being my long-time crush on Cusack. The second was on that weekend, I was not in a "violent movie" mindset, and the third is what I called the handbook reason.

When I saw the trailer, I thought I should see this movie because I have a strange feeling that if and when I have children (emphasis on the if) that they too will be similar to the main boy in the movie, Dennis. At first, he spends most of the daylight hours in a box with only a slit to see out of to protect him from the harmful rays of the sun, and when he comes out, he wears his gravity belt so he will not float away. Then he says things like "I am not human" and proclaims that he is from outer space.

After being abandoned by his parents, Dennis, playing extremely well by Bobby Coleman, becomes convinced he arrived here from Mars, set to observe the human race and fulfill a mission before being called back home to the motherland.

The movie does not really delve into what he thinks his mission is, mainly because his adopted father David (Cusack) doesn’t ask when Dennis talks about it.

I suppose one could conclude his mission was to not only find someone that would love him for all of his quirks and eccentricities, but to find someone that would never leave him.

Naturally he finds one in grieving widower David Gordon, who is a best-selling science fiction author who sees a bit of a kindred spirit in Dennis. He still feels this during the "trial period" but he feels like he has failed Dennis because he is still having problems relating and getting along with the Earthlings. Oh, and sometimes he won’t stop speaking "Martian" and stealing from people (he’s gathering samples).

Yes, this movie is a bit clichéd and predictable, but it is sweet and the acting is good, especially by Coleman.

So, if you want to see a cutesy, family movie for a change (trust me, I was shocked when I decided to pick this over "American Gangster" and Russell Crowe, but not displeased by my choice), this is the movie for you.

I gave this film a B-

Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.


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