EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World." Want to be a film fan? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 out of 4 stars
The movie has the mystery and intrigue of "what if" the world was ending. But it can't effectively sustain itself despite the presence of Steve Carell (Dodge) who's comedic acting skills are significant. In addition, there are a score of "killer" songs that are well interspersed.
The two glaring major faults are a weak screenplay that goes nowhere and the total miscast of Keira Knightley (Penny) who plays Dodge's love interest. She just doesn't fit with Carell's chemistry perhaps because of age or other factors.
But an asteroid is on schedule to hit the earth and cause total destruction in a matter of days. There is anarchy and rioting in the streets. Penny and Dodge are thrown together nearly by accident. The story weaves in and out of unentertaining skits. Without a focus or plan the movie can't get any traction and fizzles before you. There is some interesting last dialogue between Dodge and Penny as the movie closes but it's much too little and way too late. Avoid this movie -- it's a certified loser.
-- Rick Wright, Auburn
4 out of 4 stars
Give credit to Steve Carell. He's made a career out of balancing goofy mainstream movies with small quality independent films. "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" is definitely the latter.
In this film about an asteroid headed for Earth, he plays Dodge Petersen. His wife has just left him for another man, the world has gone mad and he's just received a 3-month-old letter from his long lost love. And so begins a journey with the woman responsible for him not receiving the letter sooner. Keira Knightley plays Penny, his neighbor who's just missed the last flight to get to her family and agrees to help him locate his long lost love. And so begins a journey and a friendship that's so endearing you find yourself hoping they don't achieve their goal. She's a welcome addition to his awkward everyman and they play off each other very well.
While the film has a bit of a twisted sense of itself, at its heart, there's a sweetness that remains and a message throughout that reminds us that there really never is enough time. This film is a welcome change to summer blockbusters and well worth seeing.
-- Ron Adams, Statham
3 and 1/2 out of 4 stars
From the first scene of the movie, you immediately figure out this is a "different" movie. The premise of doomsday scenarios is dwarfed by the immediacy this movie provoked with the radio announcer disclosing that the failure of the asteroid snatching mission dooms the earth in 21 days.
What would you do facing this situation? Would you go to work? Would you succumb to your basest instincts? Would you run from your spouse? Would you tie up any loose ends of your life? How would your life go on with such a hanging dagger? Go see it and let it sink in.
You are mortal and every day gets us closer to day 21. The movie reminded me of a Delta commercial from the '70s called "Someday." Well today is that day and you must carpe diem. I fully enjoyed the dark premise of this well-made movie and you will, too.
-- Alfred Richner, Duluth