philosoraptor42: (Fatpie42)
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Stand by Me (1986)

This adaptation of a story by Stephen King is centred around a remarkably effective performance by Wil Wheaton. So it confuses me that I only know Wil Wheaton as that dull character in "Star Trek: TNG" who never seemed to appear in any of the movies and a few cameos in the tv series "The Big Bang Theory".

As is the case more often than not prior to the arrival of the "24" series, Kiefer Sutherland isn't that great here. Then again, he is playing a cartoonishly evil figure which was probably always going to be a hard sell in what is otherwise a pretty down to earth believable story.

The four main children give great performances and really sell us on the scenario and there's a lot of really good light-hearted humour. Even though the lead character is a Mary Sue figure (a boy who needs to believe in himself if he's going to become a successful writer when he grows up, so a pretty clear stand-in for Stephen King) I still found myself really drawn into his character.

Some of the scenes where the boys are expected to cry are pretty low points for the acting here, but it's nothing that couldn't be forgiven if the story pays off. The real problem is that the ending isn't powerful to warrant all the pathos. When you think back to the events of the film, nothing really mattered all that much. Towards the beginning of the film the question is considered "why don't we just go to the police?" and I find myself asking at the end "couldn't they have just gone to the police?" Okay sure, it's all about friends bonding in a difficult situation, but I felt the actual main storyline was anti-climactic even if the friends bonding was heart-warming and fun.

This film was alright, but I found the ending was a let down.



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