Ben Stiller has returned to the director’s chair and he’s out to tackle something interesting: an artistic blockbuster that’s set to come out this Christmas. Will it end up being another film on the same level of Tropic Thunder’s quality or will it fall more in line with the likes of Little Fockers? Only time will tell, but let’s see if the trailer gives us any sign of the film’s fate.
The film, based on the 1939 short story by James Thurber, the film follows Walter Mitty (Stiller) a meek individual without much life experience that escapes into elaborate fantasies in order to make his life seem worthwhile. Walter works for Life Magazine, which is set to publish its final issue. The magazine has decided that its last cover will be a photo taken by famous Arctic explorer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn). When said picture goes missing, Walter sets out to prove his condescending boss (Adam Scott) wrong and impress the woman in the office that he fancies (Kristen Wiig) by finding the image on an elaborate global journey that’ll put his wandering mind to the test. The latest trailer is available below:
Ben Stiller has always been a curious figure. Whenever he has some form of creative control or interest in a project, it tends to be a fascinating effort, whether it’s The Ben Stiller Show, Zoolander, Tropic Thunder or even The Cable Guy (an underrated dark comedy, in my humble opinion). Sure, he’s very guilty of selling out and not trying with projects like Night at the Museum or the Meet the Parents sequels, but I can at least praise him for interspersing those efforts with quality productions that he cares about.
So, with that previous track record, I’ve got a lot of confidence in what he’ll do with Walter Mitty. Based on this and the previous trailers, it seems as if Stiller is trying to combine his usual brand of humor with an indie spirit and a blockbuster budget, like a melding of Tropic Thunder and the Noah Baumbach film Greenberg. There is a possibility that it could lead to some tonal shifts, but as depicted in the trailers the mix oddly works. At the moment, I’m excited for what Stiller could potentially pull when this comes out on Christmas Day… though it’ll have to wait in line behind Wolf of Wall Street.
What are your thoughts about Ben Stiller’s approach to this film? Does his track record help or hinder Walter Mitty’s chances for success? Let us know down below!