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Overall Rating
2.87

Awesome: 17.95%
Worth A Look: 10.26%
Average28.21%
Pretty Bad28.21%
Total Crap: 15.38%

2 reviews, 27 user ratings


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Phenomenon
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by Chris Parry

"Scientology 101. Today's lecture will be given by John Travolta."
2 stars

When this film came out a lot of folks were all huffy and paranoid that Travolta was using films to get his message across, being a wacky scientologist type guy. After this came Michael, which wasn't without similar claims. But only in the light of Travolta's latest "project", to make L. Ron Hubbard's "Battlefield Earth" series into a feature film, does it become clear that the man has an agenda. But hey, let's keep the politics for another forum.

We're here to diss this movie for the movie itself, not the eery stuff behind it.

So Vinnie Barbarino is a smalltown dumbfuck. Nothing much special, but OH NELLIE he gets hit by some kind of light and suddenly he can read a hundred times the normal speed, remember every piece of information he sees, learn Portugese in ten minutes, become a rocket scientist and, eventually, move stuff telekinetically.

Government nasty. Take Vinnie in. Test Vinnie. Make Vinnie do monkey tricks. Poor Vinnie just want to be left alone to study astro-neural-physics or some such god knows what.

Is Vinnie any good in his role? Yeah, sure. He really "believes" in what he's portraying. He's "committed" to the project. He's giving it his all. Kyra Sedgwick, as his betrothed, is fine enough. Bobby Duvall does his usual Bobby Duvall schtick and Forest Whitaker is around acting all "hyuck".

It's mild stuff. Watch Vinnie be smart. Watch Vinnie change everyone's life. Watch evil come after him.

The message behind it all? We all have parts of our brain just waiting to be unlocked, and the establishment will make life hard for you if you do.

Excuse me while I yawn a lot and amuse myself with popcorn and the people in front of me.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=593&reviewer=1
originally posted: 04/09/99 00:12:02
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

3/02/10 EM Very enjoyable. Like JT in soft roles. He's not credible playing bad guys. 5 stars
7/28/07 steven kelly Warm 'n' fuzzy drama doesn't seem to know what to do with itself, but is generally engaging 3 stars
5/16/07 fools♫gold Don't pay attention to the government - err - these critics. 5 stars
8/29/06 Luisa Touching and entertaining tear-jerker 4 stars
8/16/05 ES Cna you say rip-off of Powder= Mr. Travolta does it again 2 stars
2/26/05 Cameron Cubbison wonderfully entertaining and poingnant...Travolta should've won an Oscar. great every time 5 stars
2/19/05 Jeff Anderson ONE OF TRAVOLTA'S BEST PERFORMANCES! An intriguing & great film about hope THAT I LOVED!!!! 5 stars
11/21/04 Alan Liddle If you have any emotions whatso-ever, this will get to you. I loved it and I'm a bloke. 5 stars
12/05/03 john better than a sleeping pill 1 stars
6/12/03 Spoonhead Story lacks any depth, Acted well though. 3 stars
2/01/03 KatheBlueEyes Lots of fun to watch 4 stars
7/23/02 R.W. Welch Rambling fantasy flick is no grabber but interesting in spots. 3 stars
4/29/02 Rockitman007 It wasnt that bad. Parts were very good. Richard Kiley is always watchable. 4 stars
8/10/01 Mr. Hat I cried, man. 4 stars
6/15/01 Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe One exceptionally great scene (Forest & housekeeper) do not a movie make 1 stars
4/03/01 Andrew Carden The only good thing is the special effects. 2 stars
12/04/00 Cristopher Revilla Wasn't that good 3 stars
7/19/00 Reeds reel reviews the only reviews you print are from space ships that want blood, gore and sex or it's no go 5 stars
3/23/00 Richard Wright Would Travolta please read his scripts before signing up for hackneyed rubbish like this? 2 stars
1/15/00 hum this is so bad! 1 stars
11/24/99 sam crap 1 stars
1/15/99 Dasha I haven't had the patience to wait until end. Pretty pathetic. 2 stars
10/31/98 Silent Rob Sporky, says it all..Charly/Flowers For Algernon, without the 'mystery science'. 3 stars
10/18/98 y one of the worst. 1 stars
10/06/98 katherine How could this film get rated shabbily? ok, it was mushy, but still totally awesome. 5 stars
9/25/98 ShadowStar UGH!!! 1 stars
8/25/98 Mister Whoopee Scientology textbook. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  03-Jul-1995 (PG)

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