Earth's future rests on 'Mimzy'

Family oriented back-to-future fantasy is deja vu, but fun

Posted: March 23, 2007

In "The Last Mimzy," scientists from the future put the fate of a polluted world in the hands of two children in present-day Seattle.

The family-friendly "Mimzy" should work well with its target audience of younger children, though adults weaned on kids-against-the-world fantasies like "E.T." and emissaries-from-the-future sci-fi like "T2" may experience a sense of déjà vu.

The picture opens on a beach in the Pacific Northwest, where a brother (Chris O'Neil) and sister (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) find a stuffed animal and some strange objects washed up on the shore. The girl is transfixed by the bunny - she calls it Mimzy, and insists that it talks to her. The boy finds a box full of strange-looking rocks and crystals, which inspire him to draw elaborate shapes in his notebook.

Routine kid stuff, except that the bunny really IS talking to the little girl - telepathically. She has the unique ability to hear his thoughts and also to levitate her brother's collection of unusual stones, creating a force field of sorts. And the boy's doodles turn out to be eerily well-done replicas of figures important to Tibetan mysticism, as his science teacher (Rainn Wilson in a funny supporting role) recognizes.

At first, the kids' parents (Timothy Hutton, Joely Richardson) don't realize how drastically their children have changed. They just know they're fighting less, and reports that their underachieving son has finally impressed one of his teachers seem all to the good.

All that changes when some scary-looking government agents show up at the house, which has been pinpointed as the source of massive power outages. An investigation places the children and their new toys at the center of a mystery about technology from the future that no one really understands, but that seems important to a plan to avoid environmental catastrophe. The children, though, understand intuitively what they're meant to do, and it means escaping from the clutches of the government and helping Mimzy walk toward the Tibetan light, or something.

If all goes well, the earth will be saved. We even get a glimpse of the promised utopia - children playing in a pristine field of wildflowers, getting a history lesson about how bad things used to be from a beaming hippie. Everybody wears a peasant blouse.

Is this utopia?

If so, I hope there's a bar. *

Produced by Michael Phillips, directed by Bob Shaye, written by Bruce Joel Rubin, Toby Emmerich, distributed by New LIne Cinema.

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