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Critic Reviews for Phenomenon
Travolta is terrific! And in a movie season dominated by brainless action flicks and big explosions, Phenomenon is something magically different.
Works best if you can switch off your brain. Those who can will reach weepy nirvana. Those who can't will find this sticky-sweet wallow a bit, well, dumb.
This so-so Capra-esque fable with undertones of L. Ron Hubbard takes a turn for the worse after the first hour.
For a movie that's ostensibly about intelligence, Phenomenon proves to be rather simple-minded.
Audience Reviews for Phenomenon
John Travolta, Forest Whitaker, Kyra Sedgwick and Robert Duvall head up one of the more heartwarming of this genre (just short of Flowers for Algeron) wherein a regular guy suddenly finds himself invested with superior mental prowess. It gets slow right before the end but damned if I didn't forgive it for doing so due to the excellent handling of the material by all involved.
An average American man working as a mechanic in a California town finds himself granted supernatural abilities on his 37th birthday in this whimsical dramedy starring John Travolta. There was speculation that this film had ties to Scientology, but I really wouldn't know, nor do I care to get involved in that discussion. I just remember my dad saying (sometime back in the 90s), that this was the only Travolta film (at that time at least), that he thought was any good. I didn't, and still don't agree with that, but it is a pretty good film nonetheless. I liked that this regular guy gets powers just out of happenstance, and how the film concerns him and everyone else around him, having to deal with the positive and negative consequences of this situation. It's been forever since I've seen this, so my memory of it is hazy, but I seem to recall that, while it does have fun with him messing around with his powers, it actually takes the situation seriously too, and mostly does so without being too heavy handed. The performances are good, the concept quite nice, and in the end it makes you all warm and fuzzy, and all that mushy stuff, so if that sounds good to you, then give it a shot.
There are a few movies out there where something out-of-the-ordinary causes the hero to become a genius. It always seems to be a temporary phenomenon. This movie is no exception to the rule. I did not mind it - somehow it is a satisfying movie - perhaps the wish that one can solve all the world's ills.
|George Malley:||I think I'm what everyone can be. I'm the possibility. The human spirit, that's the challenge, the voyage, the expedition.|
|George Malley:||I'm what everyone can be. Anyone can get here. I'm the possibility. What I'm talking about is the human spirit. That's the challenge. That's the voyage. That's the expedition.|
|George Malley:||"Will you love me for the rest of my life?" (Question from the dying George Malley"|
|George Malley:||Will you love me for the rest of my life?|
|Lace Pennamin:||"No. I'll love you for the rest of mine."|
|Lace Pennamin:||No, I 'll love you for the rest of mine.|