I had higher hopes for “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” but truth be told, I fell asleep. It was only for a few minutes, but there was no connection in the movie for me, nothing willing me to stay awake. Maybe it was the chilly night and warm theater. Maybe it was the long week before the holidays to blame. But frankly, I think I was bored.
Ben Stiller is typecast as dull businessman looking for some adventure in his life. This time though his role doesn’t quite work for him as Walter Mitty, a production guy putting together photos for Life Magazine. He tends to daydream and vividly imagines his life taking on big adventures. After his company is acquired and his job is on the line, he is given the opportunity to follow a famed photographer to get the coveted shot of what will be the final cover before the magazine ends and becomes an online outlet only.
There is no empathy or sympathy felt for Walter Mitty. His crush on a fellow co-worker (Kristen Wiig) doesn’t really go anywhere or seem to be that necessary. Even as a friendship, the spark is missing. This lack of human connection throughout the whole film was truly disappointing. Will the guy get the girl in the end? I didn’t care. Will Walter Mitty seek the adventure he’s always dreamed about? Of course, but even he manages to make it look boring.
The movie idea is such a great one, but the result seemed like it was hastily put together. Ben Stiller has played out this character so many times that it seems like a recycled story rather than an original one.
Final words: Great potential, bad follow through for what could have been a charming tale.