• Guy Jeffries

Gifted Review


Director: Marc Webb.

Starring: Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer, Glenn Plumber.

Who didn't like 500 Days of Summer? That 2009 romantic comedy drama that wasn't actually a love story. And it seems the promoters have used this film as a part of it's marketing campaign. It is Marc Webb, the director of 500 Days of Summer, and also the last two Amazing Spider-Man movies. So what are we expecting to see here.

Captain America, Chris Evans hangs up the shield and his spandex to play Frank, an Uncle and supposedly legal guardian to his seven year niece and child prodigy genius who might be able to teach Will Hunting a thing or two. I mention Will Hunting with good reason, as there's a similar message here, regarding wasted talent but living a happy life, denying not only the child's capability but the world's thirst for knowledge.

We would all want the best for our children and to encourage the talents they might possess, but does that need to come at a price of their childhood and their happiness? It's a tough dilemma and this story really shows the emotional pains and struggles, especially when not everyone is going to agree.

Evans is great but is still very hard to get under that Marvel exterior, even though he's a little downsized. I think I was expecting to see a lot more emotionally turmoil but that's not to say he didn't act. He does, just not as much as I thought. Mckenna Grace is brilliant as the ultra-smart girl who tried to fit in the world around her, displaying a massive range of emotional.

There was really enough from the supporting cast, and I feel there was a lot more to the story's characters. Spencer's for example. Jenny Slate, who's voice was incredibly busy recently with Secret Life of Pets, LEGO Batman and Zootropolis, just doesn't have enough impact, appearing wet but Lindsay Duncan's grandmother, Eve, does really well to make her a unlikeable character.

It's certainly not in the same vein of 500 Days, and I really wasn't keen on the handy cam style in parts, never knowing what type of effect or reason behind using it, whether it was trying to be creative or maybe for budget reasons. The style just wasn't consistent enough.

There's a good soundtrack with some great songs but these shouldn't be the focus of the scenes and is more like the tracks you hear in romantic dramas. Rob Simonsen provides a nice score, one that reminds me very much Thomas Newman's style with his use of glockenspiels

The film depends heavily on the easy-going and clever script. The story too has some very touching moments but it doesn't feel like it achieves what it sets out to do or convey. I felt it missed it's mark and I'm not entirely sure why.

Because of this, it's unfortunately nothing more than a good drama and will probably get overlooked. But it is a good drama.

Running Time: 8

The Cast: 7

Performance: 8

Direction: 7

Story: 8

Script: 8

Creativity: 6

Soundtrack: 6

Job Description: 6

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

64% 6/10

#MarcWebb #ChrisEvans #MckennaGrace #LindsayDuncan #JennySlate #OctaviaSpencer #GlennPlummer #RobSimonsen