Occasially if we miss a movie review at the time of it’s release (or in our case, the site wasn’t up yet), we will review it when it comes to Blu ray or Video on Demand (VOD).  This is not a blu ray review, rather a review of the film itself, which can be seen on various platforms, and come fairly recommended if you feel like spending a couple bucks to rent it On Demand.


Ben Stiller has made a big name for himself in the world of comedy for the last 20-30 years, but his directing is often overlooked in favor of his performances.  In his new film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Stiller shows his evolution as a director, proving that visually he is right up there with the best of them.  Stiller stars in the film as Walter Mitty, a day-dreamer who imagines his way through life instead of living it.  Mitty imagines himself as a hero, a romantic, or pretty much anything he isn’t.  When LIFE magazine, which he works at developing photo prints for the magazine, is releasing its final issue Mitty begins to act instead of day-dream.  Along with co-worker and love interest Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig), Walter Mitty embarks on a real life journey to find the lost print which is intended to be the last and final cover of LIFE, and from this point on his life would never be the same.

The_Secret_Life_of_Walter_MittyThe visuals in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty were hugely impressive and incorporated into the story much better than I had anticipated.  Going into my screening of the film I was worried how the day-dream scenes would fit into the overarching story, as they looked massive in scope and potentially hard to pull off.  My fears were quickly put to rest as these scenes were often the best looking or funniest moments of the film.  It was a unique film, as the day dream of Walter Mitty turned into reality and he was actually experiencing adventure with the audience right there for the ride.  Everything from the CG to the sets and locations looked beautiful on screen.  You root for Walter, and most people will find a little piece of Walter in them.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at times feels a bit forced and has an over the top feel good vibe, but it works for the film.  People who see the film will see themselves, or at least a piece of themselves in Walter, as people dream big but often just settle.  We get stuck in dead end jobs, get into routines, and see time pass us by just like Walter.  To see him break the routine and go for the adventure will touch home for most, and you can truly get behind this character and root for him against the odd  and against his new asshole boss played brilliantly by Adam Scott, who like in Step Brothers plays a jerk to perfection.  From this, I was able to get over the cheesiness of the film and enjoy the story.  We all want adventure, we just need to go out and do it, and the message of the film was interesting to see played out with such beautiful visuals and clever transitions.

The_Secret_Life_of_Walter_Mitty_2While you won’t be constantly laughing through the film (which isn’t its intention), there are some incredibly funny moments.  Beyond that, both Kristen Wiig and Ben Stiller who are known for their crazy characters do well playing much more toned down characters.  These two had great chemistry, and the supporting characters all came through in their own ways.  Patton Oswalt is hilarious, Sean Penn is great, and Shirley MacLaine is a good fit as Walter’s mother.

In a crowded Christmas season at the movies, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is not getting the attention it deserves.  It won’t win any Oscars, it won’t make huge money at the box office, but it will be a movie people go back to in the years to come.  No, it’s not perfect but it is an incredibly fun movie.  Sometimes like everyone else I suppose I like a movie to make me feel good, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty offers just that.  It’s a  well shot, well acted, and well edited film that will be overlooked until people realize Ben Stiller may have just made another film that will gain a cult following once it’s released on home video.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty stars Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Penn, Patton Oswalt and is now on Blu ray, DVD, and Video on Demand

About the Author

Peter Towe
Peter Towe
A graduate of UMASS Boston, I have successfully put off getting a "real" job, and continue to watch, produce, review, and obsess over movies. I lived in Boston while I completed my degree, and now live in Chicago trying the improv thing.