Dragonfly Movie Review
Like many of the big stars of the early nineties, Kevin Costner has been in almost a constant state of freefall. His movies haven't made much money, and for the most part, for good reason. Dragonfly is his latest effort to reclaim his career, and while it won't do anything to help him, it won't do anything to hurt him, either.
Dragonfly is about a doctor who is trying to deal with the death of his wife. He is not having the best of luck. On a visit to his wife's floor of the hospital, he begins to suspect that his wife is trying to contact him through dying children. He is also seeing strange things in his house. Of course, his colleagues think he is going crazy, and so does he, but the signs continue to indicate that there is something his wife wants to tell him.
These kinds of movies, about "good" ghosts, are hard to pull off. The last best example, and a much better movie than Dragonfly, is What Lies Beneath, where Michelle Pfeiffer believes the ghost is trying to tell her something. That movie is well done and scary, but not everyone enjoyed the ending. Dragonfly has some truly creepy moments (although nowhere near the level of What Lies Beneath), but most people will find the movie rather anti-climatic. And in here lies the problem: While the mechanics of the film are relatively good, it is confused as to what it wants to be. Is Dragonfly a horror movie? Is it a thriller? Or is it a drama? It never really sorts itself out, and what results is a very uneven movie where each independent sequence is good enough, but together they just don't work right.
Obviously, the first half of the movie is a ghost story. As already mentioned, there are some creepy moments, although unfortunately the previews showed just about all of them, so I knew what to expect (especially the image of his wife outside his window). There is also an underlying mystery to the movie, which is basically asking what is his dead wife trying to say? Is there more to her death than meets the eye, or is it something else?
The second half is shaky. Costner begins to figure things out, even though they were quite clear from the early stages of the film. Dragonfly, for the most part, is pretty predictable. When he finally catches on, he does some truly stupid things, like jumping into a raging river and so forth. The mystery is finally revealed and I must say I was a little disappointed by the result, not because of what it turns out to be as much as my thirst for something darker and more captivating. There is nothing wrong with the ending other than that there isn't any huge twist; Dragonfly is obviously still trying to work off of The Sixth Sense formula, so I was expecting something that would make me say, "Oh!" Instead, I just blinked a couple of times.
Dragonfly by and large is not a bad movie, but when all is said and done, there is nothing really exciting about it. The ghost element of the film is basically a means to an end, which isn't necessarily bad but just a tad disappointing. For those who like ghost stories, take a gander at this, but if you're just looking for something to scare you, look somewhere else.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.