“The Last Mimzy,” review by Susan Granger

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When a mysterious box of magical ‘toys’ washes up on a beach near Seattle, two children embark on an exciting adventure that will change their lives.

Constantly distracted by electronic devices, the Wilders are a typical 21st century family: overworked dad (Timothy Hutton), overly cautious mom (Joely Richardson), isolated, self-doubting 10 year-old Noah (Chris O’Neil) and innocently precocious five year-old Emma (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn). But when Noah and Emma find a curious black box, they discover a treasure trove: a crystal slab inscribed with obscure symbols, an ornate sea shell, a blue glass snail, rock-like ‘spinners’ and a stuffed rabbit that identifies itself as Mimzy.

As Noah and Emma play with these strange objects, their minds expand, catapulting them to incredibly high intelligence levels. While their creativity attracts the attention of Noah’s science teacher (Rainn Wilson) and his Buddhist girl-friend (Kathryn Hahn), their experimentation arouses the suspicions of Agent Broadman (Michael Clarke Duncan) of the Department of Homeland Security. But Mimzy’s on a mission: to transport into the future something that’s been lost in the past.

This sci-fi fantasy is based on Lewis Padgett’s “All Mimsy Were the Borogroves,” which was inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky.” Adapted by Bruce Joel Rubin (“Ghost”) and Toby Emmerich (“Frequency”), it’s directed by Robert Shaye, New Line Cinema’s CEO, who minimizes the distracting ‘secretive’ elements while evoking memories of Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.”

It’s intriguing that there’s some validity to the challenging science depicted in the film, according to Dr. Brian Greene, Columbia University physics professor, and Dr. Susan Smalley, UCLA neurobehavioral genetics professor. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Last Mimzy” is an enchanting 7. With its spiritual and metaphysical message, this fun-filled family entertainment goes far beyond whimsy.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.