Odd Thomas (2013)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Odd Thomas</strong> (2013)

(On Cable TV, January 2019) I ignored Odd Thomas for years, working from the conviction that it couldn’t be more than an average film if it had been adapted from a Dean Koontz novel. (I once read twenty-some Koontz novels in the span of a single year, and liked only one of them.) But as it turns out, this movie adaptation is something different from the usual Koontz. Introducing us to a small-town California psychic, this is a film that makes use of chatty protagonist narration, a fast-paced plot and some off-beat details to tell a story with a well-rounded execution from familiar elements. I suspect that much of the fluidity of the result comes from director Stephen Sommers, a capable sfx storyteller who had a few high-profile movies between 1998 and 2009 but seems to have been sidelined of the industry since then. The plot has something to do with preventing a mass shooting, but the way we get there is far more interesting than expected with plenty of humour, suspense, ingenious use of fantastic tropes and good actors in key roles. The late Anton Yelchin stars as Thomas, with an early role for Gugu Mbatha-Raw and a supporting turn from Willem Defoe. The hook is interesting, and while there is something slightly off about the overly cute banter as well as some of the individual moments along the way (including a far too dark romantic conclusion), the execution is generally above average and the film is a bit of an unassuming surprise. Even though it’s more of an underrated B-movie than anything else, I probably shouldn’t have waited so long to see it.

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