K-Pax (2001)

(In theaters, November 2001) I like Kevin Spacey, but ever since he’s had his Oscar, he’s been making strange choices. I mean… Pay It Forward? Now comes K-Pax, another one of those sugary dramatic treats that Hollywood does so well. Think One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Think about that alien-comments-on-humans Starman shtick we’ve seen so many time before. Think mental-patients-are-really-sane- in-an-insane-world cliché claptrap. Better yet; don’t think, because the film bends over backward trying to make damn sure that there’s no logical solution to the problem it poses. It first tries to set up the alien hypothesis, then -through an atrociously convoluted “hypnosis” sequence- tries to build the “crazy guy” hypothesis. Naturally, by the end, we have convincing proof of both, and at the same time of neither. The film is really a showcase for Spacey (who, it is true, is rather enjoyable in the first half of the film) but beyond that, there isn’t much to like. Sure, the directing is efficient and Jeff Bridges is all right, but for those things, why don’t you rent The Big Lebowski again?

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