Occasionally arresting ideas and a non-condescending attitude to its pre-teen protagonists give this more character than many effects-driven family fantasies, even if it's ultimately too wonky in construction to sweep us along convincingly.
The gentleness of the film is almost unique in this day and age. It's a true family movie, one that adults likely won't groan at when they are told that the problems of the future are because 'our precious quality of humanity had been turned off.'
Shaye gives the film a message well worth hearing: Today's kids, constantly distracted by electronic devices, don't spend enough time connecting with each other and with their families. But this idea is buried among too many talky scenes with the adults.
You have to give credit to a film such as Mimzy that, unlike most quick ha-ha, make-a-buck stuff for kids, could actually get them thinking about making a difference in a world in desperate need of change.
So not only is The Last Mimzy saving the environment but also making a statement on government intrusion into private lives. It's clear director Robert Shaye has an agenda, and it tends to step on the rest of his movie.
Awkwardly constructed, with a lame teacher-tells-a-story-in-the-future framework that gets the film off on the wrong foot. It takes a good, long while to get going, and the action doesn't exactly crackle when it does.
The movie strains credibility once the children and their parents are rounded up by a Department of Homeland Security even more incompetent than the real one, but for a family picture this is still superior.
Goes about its business with a welcomely wry humor that undercuts the scenario's earnest New Age-y potential. If it isn't always crystal clear about what's on its mind, it speaks its heart in a language that kids totally get.