One of the world's greatest actors, Anthony Hopkins, and one of the world's greatest authors, Stephen King, combine forces to present one of the most boring movies to hit theaters in a long time in the form of Hearts in Atlantis.
The movie is actually based on a short story the famous horror novelist wrote, and for some reason director Scott Hicks thought he could turn it into a full length picture. Boy, was he wrong. The plot, on the surface, sounds not much different from many of King's other stories, where a man looks back on his childhood, and on some strange event that happened during that time. Unfortunately, the strange event is so mildly strange that it could happen in real life, and the plot is so watered down with... nothing that there really is no plot. Or, if there is no plot, there is no solid conclusion.
Hopkins, of course, turns in a pretty good performance, but he really is a supporting character, and he isn't given enough screen time to really show off character depth. More than anything else, the story revolving around his character really has nothing to do with anything, even though it is the most interesting part of the film, and is what was advertised. He shows up, it is revealed that he has some form of psychic ability, and then the men in black come and take him away.
Hearts in Atlantis is not at all technically bad; it is just plain boring. The movie introduces us to an intriguing story about a psychic on the run from a group of men, but never develops the story, never makes it really interesting, and definitely doesn't make it exciting. That only takes up half of the movie. The other half is devoted to the main character, a young boy (Anton Yelchin) who is dealing with his first girlfriend and a single mother who is struggling with things. This part of the movie just isn't that entertaining at all.
Hearts in Atlantis is a super-slow version of The Green Mile, only without any of the interesting things that led that movie to an Oscar nomination. There really is no reason why out of all of the Stephen King novels a short story as boring as this should have been selected to be a feature-length motion picture. What a waste of Anthony Hopkins.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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