Science fiction and fantasy                                            

The Last Mimzy

directed by Bob Shaye

The Last Mimzy poster  
In a field of multicoloured flowers, a teacher tells a story to a group of attentive children. It's the far future, so she doesn't even need to speak to be able to talk to them, she just uses her mind. She talks about a scientist working to save the world by creating the last Mimzy.

Back in the present, Noah Wilder (Chris O'Neil) is a boy of 10 who struggles in science lessons. He's going to spend the Easter holidays with his family at a beachside lodge on Whitby Island. On the beach, Noah and his younger sister Emma (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) discover an unusual box full of strange objects.

The things in the box include a bunny, which Emma adopts as her own and calls Mimzy. Mimzy seems to be talking to her, explaining how the other things in the box work. Gradually odder and odder things start to happen, as though the two children are developing super-powers with the help of the things they found.

Meanwhile Mr White (Rainn Wilson), the science teacher, has been having strange dreams since he left Nepal. His fiancée Naomi (Kathryn Hahn) is disappointed that he didn't act on his dream, especially when he dreamt the winning lottery numbers some time ago. She's a very open-minded person, into meditation and spirituality in a big way.

Back at school Noah and Emma seem to have been transformed over the holiday, from ordinary kids into geniuses. But their mother (Joely Richardson) is worried that they're drifting away from her, and she begins to suspect that the changes aren't natural. When something Noah does accidentally blacks out all of Seattle, the government's élite squad of anti-terrorist people get involved.

Noah isn't sure whether Mimzy's artefacts are alien, magic, or from the far future. Whatever they are, they involve plenty of pretty geometric patterns and swirly special effects. It's science fiction with extra eye candy. Noah suspects that the objects are malign, but he isn't sure.

The Last Mimzy seems like an extremely cute fantasy centred around a typical American family. But it's full of dubious moral messages. The children deceive their parents, play with dangerous toys, and at one point even go joyriding. And in the end, it's the gullible hippies who win the day whilst the sensible, concerned adults are left without any rational explanation for what is going on. Are these really the messages we want to teach the next generation?

In spite of an interesting start, The Last Mimzy finishes on an absurdly saccharine note. It's the kind of movie that children might enjoy, but many parents won't be able to watch without retching. It looks harmless enough, but it's full of palmistry, flowers, simplistic ideals and smug kids who know better than their parents simply because they have the right toys.

Film Details

Year: 2007

Categories: Films

  Kids     Science fiction

Classification: PG

If you like this, try:

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep cover    

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep by Jay Russell
Adopting a pet rock isn't the safest of hobbies for boys who live on the shores of Loch Ness.

AI Artificial Intelligence cover    

AI Artificial Intelligence by Steven Spielberg
This adaptation of a short story by Brian W. Aldiss deals with an artificial boy who longs to become real.

2 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson