Reviews

K-PAX

3

It’s tricky to take a movie with a lead character named Prot (pronounced to rhyme with goat) seriously, but old stagers Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges give it a damn good go. When the dishevelled Prot (Spacey) is arrested for claiming to come from another planet, he’s unsurprisingly packed off to a loony bin run by Dr Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges). Despite Prot acting like a genuine space cadet, Doc Powell still thinks there may be a more Earthly reason for his behaviour and sets out to find it.

Bridges and Spacey grandstand their socks off (Bridges’ solid, dependable warmth winning on points over Spacey’s twinkly eyed wackiness) but Iain Softley’s feelgooder isn’t really an impressive enough arena for them. K-PAX struggles to decide what kind of film it wants to be. Is it One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest with added photogenic nutters? Or is it Close Encounters Of The Third Kind minus special effects? Softley never manages to make his mind up, trying instead to paper over the thematic cracks with goopy sentiment. The power of the performances means it almost works, but not quite.

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