Director: Iain Softley
Running Time: 120 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12
UK Release Date: 12th April 2002
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 10th April 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I remember watching this film when I was younger and being quite impressed with it. It recently came up in the TV listings and so I decided to give it a re-watch. It’s very different to what I remember, or should I say, parts of it are very different to what I remember. I’ll give you my thoughts after this brief summary (summary haters, and those that don’t wish to know about the plot, please hop on a beam of light back to K-PAX while I write the next paragraph).
When mental patient Prot (pronounced Proat) is admitted to hospital, he comes under the care of Dr. Mark Powell. Prot tells everyone that he is an alien from the planet K-PAX but Dr. Powell doesn’t believe him. Unfortunately many of the patients do and they get into a bit of a frenzy when he tells them when he is leaving and that he can take only one of them with him. Now knowing the timescale, Dr. Powell is determined to find the truth about Prot and resorts to hypnotism in order to regress him so he can find clues to his past. He does find something, but is it too late, will Prot leave before he can put all the pieces together… and more importantly, who will he take with him? I’ll end my summary there so as not to bring down the wrath of the K-PAX Spoiler Police.
This film starts out very promisingly with the enigmatic Prot defying all attempts to get to his truth. I was happy in this fantasy world, but the story takes a turn about half way through that kind of shatters the fantasy and leaves you feeling kind of flat. In the end it becomes much more earth-bound and I (for one) felt kind of cheated by the ending, although it is kind of heart-warming.
A great performance from Kevin Spacey as Prot, he fitted the part perfectly. Also worthy of note was Jeff Bridges as Dr, Mark Powell, he did a good job although I felt he wasn’t really stretched by this part. Honourable mentions go to; Mary McCormack as Rachel Powell, Alfre Woodard as Dr. Claudia Villars, David Patrick Kelly as Howie, Saul Williams as Ernie and Peter Gerety as Sal.
Having liked this one when I first saw it, I was a bit disappointed by the second viewing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s worth a viewing if you haven’t seen it before if just for Spacey’s excellent performance. I found it a bit too long at two hours, but it did have a nice soundtrack and there is some excellent cinematography. Recommended… if just for Spacey.
My Score: 5.9/10