Odd Thomas Reviews
The film opens with Odd seeing the walking corpse of a young woman. Rather than ignore the dead, Odd follows their lead and acts to bring justice to the people who killed them. In this case, the young woman leads Odd to the man who raped and killed her. Odd confronts the man, chases him through a stranger's house, and finally knocks him out. The police chief (Willem Dafoe) knows about Odd's gift and the two often work together to bring wrongdoers to justice, In return, the chief does everything in his power to keep Odd's gift a secret.
One day Odd has a vision that is worse than anything he has ever seen before. He sees the faceless bodies of people in bowling shirts calling out to be saved from a gunman who kills them all. When he sees a strange customer at the diner surrounded by bodachs, invisible creatures that feed on evil and the suffering of others, his worst fears are confirmed. A terrible tragedy is about to take place in Pico Mundo and Odd is the only one who knows about it. Working off his own psychic visions, he must piece together the fragments that he has seen to form a clear picture of what is going to happen. The safety of the entire town depends on it!
Directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra), Odd Thomas is a fairly faithful adaptation of the Dean Koontz novel on which it is based. The quirky, sometimes hodgepodge tone of the book is a great match for Sommer's aesthetic. Yelchin is the perfect choice to play Odd, and the supporting cast of characters do a nice job in bringing life to this difficult story. Like the book, the narrative can often seem disjointed leading to a lack of focus to the main plot. The end of the book contains an emotional punch that does not translate as well to film. Some things just work better on the page. Still, Odd is a unique character, and it is fun to see him race against the clock to save the town that he loves. This film was mired in controversy as a dispute arose between some of the financers. Unfortunately, this delayed the theatrical release and severely hindered any promotional efforts. It was released on Netflix earlier this year to little fanfare. I would encourage any fan of mysteries, thrillers, supernatural fiction, and genre defying stories to check out this gem of a film.
The tonal shifts worked well, adding some humor and light-hearted undertones to an ultimately heavy movie. I feel it has been too harshly criticized. It was entertaining and I'd easily recommend it or watch it again.
Where Odd Thomas really shines is in its characters, namely Odd Thomas and Stormy Llewellyn. Amidst all of the supernatural forces at work in this story, the driving force behind this movie is this relationship, and the film handles it very well. The two characters work well with one another, and their relationship is believable. While Addison Timlin doesn't give a particularly goundbreaking performance, she shares great chemistry with Anton Yelchin, who is delightful as always. Yelchin finds a perfect mix of deadbeat humor and seriousness, and he breathes a lot of humility and relatability into his character. In terms of other performances, the only other one of note is Willem Dafoe, who is solid in his limited screentime.
For all of its faults, Odd Thomas isn't a bad time. The convoluted plot will be a turn off for lots of people, but if you can manage to tolerate the illogical nature of many of the plot points, the film is worth watching for the character relationships and Anton Yelchin's solid performance.