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Overall Rating

Awesome: 23.08%
Worth A Look: 23.08%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 15.38%

4 reviews, 15 user ratings

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Mighty, The
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by Stephen Groenewegen

"A charming children's adventure for adults."
4 stars

Sharon Stone has glamour and star power in spades. Even when the film is bad (Diabolique from a few years back), Stone’s self-assured and confident screen persona enables her to walk away unscathed. She’s only ever miscast as a victim, and through her careful selection of roles, that’s rarely happened (Sliver’s a notable exception). She’s terrific in The Mighty as the mother (a first for her, onscreen) of Kevin, a sickly boy with physical disabilities, but an active intellect and imagination.

Despite their physical differences, Kevin (Kieran Culkin) has a lot in common with Max (Elden Henson). They live nextdoor to eachother and are both in the seventh grade. Neither of them has friends, and they are mercilessly bullied as the school “freaks”. Max is a hulking giant for his age, but he’s scared of using violence for fear of turning into his father (serving time for murder in gaol). Kevin quickly realises that by combining their strengths - his brains and Max’s size - they will become a force to be reckoned with. Inspired by the heroism of the legendary King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, they combine into one entity - “Freak the mighty!”.

The Mighty is a children’s film for adults, like Babe. It’s even told the same way, with chapter titles announced on-screen. The film is best during its first half. The two child actors - like their characters - work beautifully together, and it’s terrific to see them take on the bullies and win, and then set to righting injustices in the wider community.

The first false note is the performance of Gillian Anderson (Scully from The X Files), as an ex-girlfriend of Max’s father, to whom Kevin and Max return a stolen purse. Reliably good on television, Anderson seems worried about getting lost on the big screen and gives a showy, “look at me” performance - all smudged lipstick and good-natured goofiness. It takes a while for her character to seem real. Unfortunately, by the time it does, Max’s father has turned up. In a film which is otherwise so
warm-hearted, it’s disappointing that Max’s father is a born-evil criminal without redeeming features. With a one-dimensional villain to worry about, the characters seem to lose interest in real-life issues.

In its final half, The Mighty moves quickly from melodrama to tear-jerker. It feels like director Peter Chelsom has lost control of his material, but Hensen’s endearing portrayal of Max keeps us interested. He’s helped by a strong supporting cast. Besides Stone and Anderson, Harry Dean Stanton and Gena Rowlands also appear in small roles.

By the end, some of the magical, story-book quality has returned. Despite its varying tone, The Mighty is a charming film, suitable for children and adults alike.

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originally posted: 06/28/99 19:43:33
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User Comments

11/24/15 Anne values that are very important 4 stars
6/03/07 Jesus Barrios the book was a great book a tell u that but the movie will acually make you cry. 5 stars
9/13/05 drew great 5 stars
9/05/04 DM Maybe I'm only saying this because I loved the book, but I like it 4 stars
8/25/04 sophy very touching. andersons, henson and culkins performances are just great 5 stars
11/06/03 Linkinparkchick It made me cry, it's very deep, but funny too!!! 5 stars
8/23/03 Shawn Franks It was was... 5 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby Semi-charming little drama. 3 stars
6/08/00 Elvisfan Completely amazing and of course I cried like a mofu but so will you 5 stars
12/27/99 Vance Lipovac Genuine Tear-Jerker, not to be missed! 5 stars
4/17/99 Ah Dooey A very good movie. 3 stars
11/25/98 Bridgette First movie ever to make me cry 5 stars
10/19/98 Aint-It-Cool Well, it ain't no Mockingbird, but it's right up there with Stand By Me. 5 stars
10/17/98 Mr Showbiz Interesting, but wildly sentimental, saga about a pair of beleaguered kids. 3 stars
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  02-Oct-1998 (PG-13)
  DVD: 05-Apr-2005


  03-Jun-1999 (PG)

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