Adventure & product placement: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

52cfbd3bb79d4WALTER Mitty: essentially a man who’s realising that he’s never truly lived a day, devoting it to his career and family instead. The movie opens with Walter viewing the dating profile of his female co-worker, minus a ‘wink’ feature. He calls up customer service and is answered by Patton Oswalt, who tells him he needs to do things that are noteworthy or mentionable. This is repeated many times during the movie: the most unnecessary cameo.

Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott), Walter’s boss at Life magazine, where he works as a negative photo developer, is a stereotypical clichéd bully businessman, who puts pressure on Walter to find a negative that can be used for the front cover of the final ever edition. Except, of course, that negative is missing. Seeing this as an opportunity, he decides to finally talk to the girl from the start of the movie. She tells him to live life more; and of course he gets on the next flight to Greenland to track down the photographer (Sean Penn), only to keep missing him by an hour or a day. He could have got on the previous flight and saved us all an hour in the cinema.

Not forgetting the random daydreams. Ranging from the mundane dreams, like the thought of making a joke about Adam Scott’s beard, to the bizarre; using a slab of concrete to surf down a motorway or fighting over a Stretch Armstrong toy. To give the movie credit I found myself really enjoying the dream sequences, no matter how surreal; there’s one scene where he makes a reference to a popular movie (I won’t spoil which one, though) – it comes out of nowhere and makes no sense, and yet I loved every second.

This film is a terrible romance movie, a good comedy and a great motivation movie. It’s very difficult not to feel the urge to travel after watching it! It’s also beautifully directed by Ben Stiller himself, he’s a good visual director and it plays to his strength to shoot in such beautiful locations. He also gave a good performance, opposite Kristen Wiig. However, I was quite disappointed with Adam Scott’s character. He filled the role with ease, but after seeing him in Parks and Recreation I was hoping his character would be more than a clichéd moron who acts as little more than a plot point.

I did get very tired of the blatant product placement, especially for a certain pizza chain – I didn’t mind so much with Life or eHarmony because they had a role in the movie: Ben Stiller spends way too long talking about this pizza chain and it’s certainly incredibly unsubtle.

It has it faults but it’s a fun movie with a lot going for it, I’d recommend seeing it.