The Secret Life of Walter Mitty DVD Review

Ben Stiller is a man of many hats, that normally resemble each other, but while The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty has comedic moments, it’s on a different platform than we’re use to seeing Ben Stiller, and it looks good on him.

Ben Stiller directs and stars in The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, James Thurber's classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

Eternal daydreamer, Walter Mitty is a negative assets manager for Life magazine, which is preparing to print its final issue before going to a digital publication. His new boss, Ted Hendricks shows little feeling as he announces that the magazine will be firing most of its staff.  Being a senior staff member should secure his job, until he misplaces a negative from the legendary photographer Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn) that was intended for Life’s final cover.

With a push from Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig), the object of Walter’s secret crush, Walter decides to track down the elusive O’Connell, who gives a whole new meaning to old school with his telegraph communication. Walter’s trip takes him from Greenland, to Iceland, and finally to Afghanistan, and along the way his real-life escapades become greater than his day dream ones, but more importantly Walter’s revelations completely change his life. He’s no longer shuffling through life, thinking of what ifs, but living it to its fullest.

No audio commentary appears in this package, but there are plenty of bonus content.
Short featurettes include focuses on the set design and musical score. The real fun is when they explore the whimsical opening title sequence, a behind-the-scenes look at shooting Stiller's skateboarding scenes in the gorgeous Icelandic countryside, an animated chase sequence through Manhattan, auditions of the supporting actors in Iceland and "The History of Walter Mitty," which honours James Thurber and references the 1947 film starring Danny Kaye.

Bottom line: It’s a light hearted story, that rather than poke fun at the root story like most comedic approaches would, he instills whimsy entwined with the mystic voyage of self discovery. There are plenty of things to laugh at on the journey, but Stiller brings a serious sense of introspection that his previous work lacks, that tempers the feel of the piece. The movie is unexpected, and a recommended journey of discovery.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is on DVD starting today.


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