Ok, so I waited a little bit longer than normal before writing this review (usually I type one up within an hour of viewing the film). The reason I waited a little bit was to let the movie sink in so that I could bring you a review that wasn’t just based solely on my opinion of Zac Efron. Well….., I tried.
Charlie St. Cloud is a movie about a guy who lost his little brother in a tragic accident a few years back, for which he takes the blame for. Unexpectedly though, he discovers that he can still see his little brother (who happens to be “stuck,” if you will, between the world of the afterlife and the world of the living) in order to meet up as they promised each other everyday at sunset to practice baseball. It is at this point that Charlie “dies” as he puts his entire life on hold and lets time pass him by as he only lives to meet his brother everyday. This film is based on a novel entitled “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud” and I can see why. Five years of the same mundane routine….until he “rediscovers” local girl, Tess. Enter the love interest who helps make him start to feel alive again. As events transpire, Charlie is put in the difficult position to decide whether to keep his promise to his little brother Sam (It is implied that if they do not meet, then Sam will disappear into the afterlife forever.), or go on with his life and help find Tess, who has gone missing.
Now it’s very important to know that Charlie also sees other people who have died. It’s the tragic accident that he was in with his brother that started this phenomenom. I know, it seems very “Sixth Sense-ish” and to an extent it is. But, it is interesting addition to the film and I am glad that someone wasn’t afraid to put that idea into their movie after M. Night Shyamalan did so many years ago. Bravo. It is through some of the other deceased characters that we learn a few more things about the “parallel universe” and the rules about it. There is a bit much to have to just “accept” in this movie. Is it a sci-fi, a drama, a mystery, a romance, a boyhood adventure??
I left the movie liking what I saw for the most part, but as I pondered it further, I must reconsider my initial thoughts and rating. Some of the stars that are in this film did NOT give their usual caliber of performance and that disappointed me. Kim Basinger and Ray Liotta played parts that were pretty much unnecessary to the film. Zac Efron (sorry ladies) still cannot act. If Efron wants to continue on in his career, he will have to depend on a whole lot more than just his empty-staring blue eyes and several crying scenes. I will say that he did do a good job portraying his relationship with the younger brother. But, other than that…no.
At this point, my hat does come off to my friend TheSilkSpectre who went with me to the movie. She wins the “Sherlock Holmes Award” this time around for predicting something in the movie that I didn’t see coming until later on. I boasted about being “Sherlock Holmes” in the movies last week and this week I was bettered by her! There is an interesting twist to the film that does keep one’s attention. But after watching the character and plot development, I expected a little bit different ending. The ending is still okay, and what you might expect from any sentimental, “the director wants to make the girls cry” kind of movie, but it made me see Zac Efron as more of a creeper-stalker instead of the nice guy who wants to get the girl. That’s just my opinion. It took him long enough to kiss the gorgeous girl. (TheSilkSpectre and I joked about this throughout the movie)!
Overall, go see it if chick-flicks with a bit of thriller/mystery tied into it is what you enjoy. Not as scary and gruesome as The Sixth Sense, but also not as well written or acted as perhaps Save the Last Dance or The Notebook. That’s all I’m going to say! 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy watching!
–The Spider’s Score: 4.5 out of 10 stars “Charlie St. Cloud”