First Hit: Uneven, partially compelling and entertaining enough to keep me engaged.
Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is an anonymous film librarian for a major magazine. He daydreams about taking and having adventures in his life especially when they include co-worker Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig) whom he likes but cannot seem to connect with. An example the film uses is when he cannot even leave her a wink on a dating site because his profile is so boring and lacking information.
The magazine is going to be going digital and therefore his and most of his co-workers’ jobs will be eliminated. Leading the change in the magazine is Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott). But for the last issue, famous photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) sends a negative (#25) for the magazine to use.
However, Mitty and his co-worker Hernando (Adrian Martinez) cannot find it in the role that was sent by O’Connell. Where this negative actually resides was no surprise and easily deduced. However because Hendricks is pushing to see the negative and Mitty doesn’t have it, he decides to find O’Connell. This trip takes him to explore many frozen north countries and towns.
Some of these scenes and cinematography are magnificent and make one want to go visit them. However, the drunken Icelandic helicopter pilot scenes weren’t necessary and put in for comedy relief. Another one of many writing and direction errors. Yes, there is enough going for the film it is watchable.
Stiller was, at times, fun to watch and does his role as well as he can do it. However, other scenes seemed to just move the plot along. These poorly conceived scenes are part acting issues but poor directing - by Stiller. Penn was fun to watch and to see his natural aging bringing out a deeper character was good. Scott was both good and poor in his role. The beard was a poor wardrobe and character choice. Wiig is one of the better and more consistent parts of this film. Steve Conrad wrote an over ambitious script by trying to put too many twists into it. Stiller, as previously mentioned, tried to do too much with the film (think – diving from Subway platform into a window) and at other times didn’t do enough.
Overall: This was entertaining enough to watch and stay with it.