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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.36%
Worth A Look: 8.93%
Average: 33.93%
Pretty Bad39.29%
Total Crap: 12.5%

4 reviews, 32 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"It drags on. You should flee."
2 stars

I'm not sure which half of "Dragonfly" is worse: The part where nothing's happening, or the part where something's happening, but it's stupid.

Kevin Costner, proving again that his good performances in the early '90s were the exceptions and not the rule, plays emergency room doctor Joe Darrow. His wife, Emily, has just perished in a Venezuelan bus accident while doing humanitarian work, and now Joe cannot seem to get his life back in order. He is cranky and rushed at the ER; I like to call him Bitch Adams.

Emily had a thing for dragonflies, and now Joe sees them everywhere. In fact, after the very first sign of a dragonfly, he begins to assume supernatural involvement -- a leap of logic that would be out of place in a more sensible movie, but which seems quite reasonable in this sloppily written slab.

It gets worse for Joe, though: Emily's former patients -- kids with cancer -- start having near-death experiences in which Emily tells them to send Joe a message. What is the message? Well, they're not clear on that. Instead of just speaking her mind, dead Emily prefers to give cryptic clues and symbols, suggesting she does not want Joe to find spiritual enlightenment so much as she wants him to go on a scavenger hunt.

The script is by first-timers Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson, and by David Selzer, whose only significant credit is "The Omen," (a movie whose faint, dim influence can be felt here). Its dialogue is leaden and awkward; I will cite one example. Joe tells a suicidal patient that her heart must want her to live, because it is beating very strongly. She says, tearfully, "No one knows my heart." Joe replies, "Maybe that's why it's still beating -- to give someone a chance to."

There are also several instances in which a character's profession is revealed through clumsy dialogue: "As an eye surgeon, I can tell you..."; "She's a grief counselor"; "Emily was more than just a doctor"; "You'd think a professor of law would know..." (and, from the same character: "I'm a lawyer!"). Lazy, lazy writing.

Foreshadowing also is not the forte of Mssrs. Camp, Thompson and Selzer. Anytime something is mentioned that will be important later, you can count on it being mentioned over and over, to ensure we still remember it when it turns up again. The rafting trip! The pregnancy! The dragonfly! The number of times people sit around discussing Joe's pet parrot in casual conversation, you'd think it was the reincarnated Dalai Lama.

The final sequence of events is ludicrous beyond all imagining. If Costner had acted with any level of competence, or if director Tom Shadyac ("Patch Adams," "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective") had exhibited any finesse or style, then the finale might be an emotional release for an audience wrapped up in the sorry plight of Dr. Joe Darrow. As it is, though, Joe is a nobody surrounded by nobodies who say nothing worthwhile, and the finale is just silly.

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originally posted: 02/23/02 06:23:06
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User Comments

12/29/17 morris campbell it sux 1 stars
7/29/10 chris. it's been quite some time since i've seen such terrible acting 2 stars
11/18/08 Shaun Wallner Very Boring! 2 stars
11/18/06 Quigley Different, but I don't know if that's good or bad. Stick with "The Sixth Sense" 3 stars
7/21/06 JM Synth Pretty Good 3 stars
4/06/06 tab awesomest ever, i mean totally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/02/05 irene diaz I liked it, pretty predictable but I didnīt fell asleep 3 stars
3/28/05 Charlene Javier Could have been good.. 3 stars
3/24/05 Colleen Goldrick Good 4 stars
3/24/05 monnilove interesting , mysterious, not to revealing until the end 3 stars
3/22/05 Jack Sommersby Leaden direction and protracted story; good performances, though. 2 stars
4/03/03 Greg Messina Interesting story which does not come off as believable 2 stars
12/02/02 palaboy101 Surprisingly good movie. 4 stars
9/09/02 othree expected more, alot of hype, but suprise ending 3 stars
8/29/02 Dean bored out of my mind 1 stars
8/17/02 AJ Yawn.... 2 stars
8/05/02 Lexy Z. Crap. WTF is up with the ending? 1 stars
6/02/02 Chris Leave all cynicalism at the door and embrace this solid thriller. 4 stars
5/17/02 Meredith Harshaw Makes KATE AND LEOPOLD look like realism. 2 stars
3/17/02 Suzz Boring; what were Linda Hunt and Kathy Bates thinking 2 stars
3/14/02 FlaFan Absolutely mesmerizing film 5 stars
3/04/02 Tom Jones 1:43 of my life that I will never get back again 1 stars
3/03/02 Britt Bleh. Could have been much better. 2 stars
3/02/02 Brian Delaney A Rental at best 3 stars
2/28/02 Todd Costner you fucking hack! I want my money back! You suck, and your movie blows goats! 1 stars
2/27/02 RKM What?!! A 6th Sense Rip off of the Others?? 1 stars
2/26/02 Roberta Walker one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I am a video store owner 5 stars
2/26/02 ownerofdajoint suprisinglygoodflick 4 stars
2/26/02 smmboo I really enjoyed this movie. It was great! I am going and seeing it again. 4 stars
2/25/02 Andrew Carden Kathy Bates Embarrases Herself In This Bore. Tons Of Unintentional Laughs. 2 stars
2/24/02 asdfk; Why did they rip off Brainstorm for the trailer? 2 stars
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  22-Feb-2002 (PG-13)



Directed by
  Tom Shadyac

Written by
  Brandon Camp
  Mike Thompson
  David Seltzer

  Kevin Costner
  Kathy Bates
  Kathryn Erbe
  Joe Morton
  Ron Rifkin
  Matt Craven

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