Arts: Costner watches career go to the grave

Kevin Costner’s hope to break free from his streak of flopped movies may just have to wait until next time. He doesn’t drink any urine in this one, but Dragonfly (Universal) is still bad because it doesn’t offer anything new, rather it simply piggy-backs on trite film conventions.

Costner plays Dr. Joe Darrow a man dealing with the traumatic death of his wife. Emily Darrow’s (Susanna Thompson) death is followed by mysterious signs from beyond the grave. Dragonflies, one of Emily’s favorite insects, appear as a symbol for her, and slowly take over Joe’s life.

Six months after her death, Emily begins to communicate with her patients in the oncology ward where she used to work. Via these patients, she can contact Joe and exchange vital information with him. She is able to do so by reviving the patients after their near death experiences. An unidentified symbol drawn by the patients plays a key role in allowing Joe to decipher this information.

After a patient tells Joe, “She wants you to go there,” he becomes driven to find “there.” In desperate hopes to decode these words and signs, Joe risks his life. Even with the help of Joe’s friendly neighbor Miriam Belmont (Kathy Bates), and a helpful nun (Linda Hunt), he cannot cope with his grief.

Director Tom Shadyac, known for his work on such films as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor and Liar, Liar, adds humor, mystery, suspense, and romantic tears to the movie. This feel good film provides a taste to all likings and is a great recommendation for a date. It will give you an arm to grab on to, a shoulder to cry on, and a friend to laugh with.

However, this “Sixth Sense,” meets “What Lies Beneath” film is becoming a bit trite and overdone. Fortunately the talented cast allows the film to take dimensions. Costner’s convincing and well developed character, coupled with other celebrated actors such as Bates, Hunt, and Thompson enhance the depths of sentimentality and humor in the film. Joe’s “listening” parrot, Big Bird, was perhaps the most humorous character in the film.
This PG-13 rated film was overall enjoyable to watch and can put a smile on your face. Although this film does not really offer anything new to the film industry, during the hour and forty-five minutes it ran, one cannot help but get into its plot. The high-quality acting forces you to feel for Joe Darrow, and hope for the best.

I wouldn’t recommend spending the $9.00 to view this film, but perhaps for a Sunday matinee.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.