The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: No secret here. This one is terrific

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comDecember 25, 2013 

Film Fall Preview

This film image released by 20th Century Fox shows Ben Stiller in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, Wilson Webb)

WILSON WEBB — AP

Ben Stiller is Walter Mitty, a bland little man who works in the morgue of Life magazine at the end of its days. Mitty is in love with Kristen Wiig's Cheryl Melhoff but is too shy to approach her.

As he daydreams about her, Life has been taken over by a company that is downsizing it and gutting the staff. The honcho managing the takeover is pushing Mitty to find a photo from the publication's most famous photographer. It is to grace the last issue's cover.

He can't find the picture. Cheryl has access to people who know how to find the man. This sends the desperate Mitty on real adventures.

This Stiller-directed and star vehicle is not close to James Thurber's charming, classic short story. All the two have in common is the daydream fantasies of Stiller's Mitty. What makes this a terrific picture is how Stiller does the story. The visuals are incredible and often very clever. It's also one of the few flicks he does where the usually irritating Stiller is exceptionally good.

So is his movie.

Director: Ben Stiller

Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Sean Penn

Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars

Rated PG for mature themes. It's playing at the Carmike 10, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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