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Last Mimzy, The


Stars: Rhiannon Leigh Wryn, Chris O'Neil, Joely Richardson, Timothy Hutton, Michael Clarke Duncan

Director: Bob Shaye

Sweet-natured and with a remarkable six-year-old star in Rhiannon Leigh Wryn, The Last Mimzy is a film you want to like more than you do. Emma (Wryn) and her 10-year-old brother (O'Neil) find a mysterious metal box on the seashore by their home. It is, in fact, from another world - a dying world that has sent the box through space and time as its last hope.

The box contains tiny rocks that spin on their own and other pieces that interlock to form what the children call a generator, as well as a toy rabbit which makes trilling noises and, as 'Mimzy', becomes Emma's firm friend.

Under the influence of their new finds, the children soon develop amazing powers. Emma practises telekinesis, while her brother quickly approaches scientific genius level with a bizarre invention involving spiders and their webs. Trouble beckons, however, when the 'generator' blacks out the whole of Seattle and the authorities (led by Clarke Duncan) become involved.

That's where the film begins to fall apart. Many of the adults are, either intentionally or not, too close to comic characters, and there are too many silly lines. All Duncan can offer on seeing the children's powers is: 'I can't understand this.' 'Is there anything I can do for you?' he adds to the bewildered parents (Hutton - with a curly hairdo - and Richardson).

The last few minutes should surely be moving and inspiring, but end up soppy, sloppy and sentimental. Wryn, however, is remarkable (reminiscent of long-ago child star Margaret O'Brien) and O'Neil not far behind. There's talk of astrological configurations and the like, but the film's closing song 'Make all the techno-babble stop' had my sympathy. They could have stuck to a much simpler story and created a better film.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Entertainment. Technicolor.
96 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 29 Mar 2007