FINAL THOUGHTS: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [2013]

You know what? I have no idea where all of these negative reviews are coming from. I personally thought that this 2013 version of THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY was exciting, funny and overall excellent.

I’ve come to the general consensus that if a film’s directed by Ben Stiller, it’ll most likely be good to great. His earlier works, REALITY BITES and THE CABLE GUY, were both way ahead of their time and, unfortunately, mostly overlooked or skipped altogether. ZOOLANDER was a comedy gem and one that’s still quoted and discussed to this day — Blue Steel, anyone? TROPIC THUNDER was probably his most forgettable film to me, but it was definitely saved by Robert Downey, Jr.’s performance. THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY takes Stiller way out of his comfort zone as both an actor and a director and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

Walter Mitty is a daydreamer — a man who lives his life day-to-day without actually living his life. His life is unaspiring and he can only be affectionate towards the woman he likes from a distance. Walter Mitty is a man who can only live the life that he wants to live through his extraordinary daydreams and because of that, he’s very easy to relate to.

When his career at Life Magazine becomes threatened by a new regime, Walter steps out of his daydreams and goes on a real-life adventure that’s even larger and more eccentric than those in his visions.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY has all the perfect ingredients; a solid cast, great direction and cinematography and a rocking soundtrack (I can only assume that Stiller has excellent taste in music since his films’ soundtracks are always amazing). If there’s one thing that I’d question, it’d be some of the uses of clear-as-day CGI in the film. Easy to overlook, but still jarring and unnecessary.

Stiller nailed his role in this film. Shy, awkward, curious and kind, Walter Mitty was probably one of Stiller’s best characters ever. Not only that, but his chemistry with his co-star Kristen Wiig was grin-worthy every single time that they shared the screen together. Adam Scott did a wonderful job of portraying the villain that you love to hate and Sean Penn, while his role was small, was oh-so-enjoyable. The film also starred Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn and Patton Oswalt, all of whom were great in their respected roles.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTYIf there’s one thing to take away from THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, it’s to live your life to its fullest. It’s one of those films that really inspire you to pursue your dreams and to never take any moments for granted. Hell, it inspired me to come home and write, so it clearly succeeded with its message.

This film currently holds a 48% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and honestly, I’m completely baffled. What were those 52% of critics looking and hoping for? Personally, I’m with the 48% who loved the film. Everything about it was so unique and clever. Even the opening credits were clever. There will always be Oscar-calibre films out there, but so often, those films are feel-bad films. THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY won’t win any awards, but damn did it make me feel good. If you want to share in that feeling, give it a shot.

~K

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Final Thoughts are an opinion, not a review. I don’t believe that anyone should base their own opinion on that of another person. Reviewers and critics are just regular people like everyone else and their opinion shouldn’t be the be-all, end-all. What you just read were my Final Thoughts of THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY. I hope you share yours.

About the author

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF | Ken loves film -- whether it's collecting them or making them. He's a massive fan of creature features and giant monster flicks and hopes to create one himself one day. He also obsessively collects ThunderCats, King Kong, Pacific Rim and The Last of Us memorabilia.