A spooky flick about life after death? Well, with the director of atmospheric horror classics like Ace Ventura and Patch Adams on board you’re in good hands.
Kevin Costner, the big screen’s Robert Urich, stars as a doctor whose wife dies minutes into the movie, leaving him lonely and single. For anybody paying attention, 99 percent of Costner’s roles find him lonely and single – the rest find him lonely and single and playing baseball.
Kevin’s wife, Dr. Mrs. Kevin, may be dead, but she’s trying to contact him from beyond the grave. Could Heaven’s ball club need a pitcher? Couldn’t messages from the afterlife wait until after mine?
See, at the Pearly Gates the Sprint PCS penance is eight Hail Mary’s and severe roaming charges, so Dr. Mrs. Kevin must reach out and touch her hubby through the visions of her cancer kid patients. These kids see her every time they have a near-death experience or see a new Kevin Costner movie, not that there’s a difference. They see her in a tunnel, on a rainbow, gently brushing the mats out of Albert Einstein’s hair.
Hmm. Someone we once loved still trying to reach us after death. Is this movie symbolic of Kevin Costner’s career trajectory or what?
Anyway, Kevin is panicked! He hears dead people call his name (which explains the whereabouts of his fans). He even hears voices coming out of the mouths of cadavers – normally you have to wait for 60 Minutes to see that!
The only fright in this movie is all too familiar from the TV spot. It’s when the little Samuel L. Jackson-looking kid comes back from the dead and glares with a startled expression so wide-eyed, a nurse must have accidentally stuck a probe up his ass.
Once rejuvenated and properly repotted, little Samuel colors squiggly crosses and talks about the view from the ceiling as his spirit floated over the scene. Listen, if I were disembodied enough to float over these proceedings, I’d float to the theater next door.
Kevin has a pet parrot – one that would always trumpet his wife’s arrival by screeching “honey, I’m home.” You don’t need a sixth sense to predict what happens when her ghostly spirit or whatever the Hell it is visits the house. “Polly see dead people, rraaaaHHHH!”
What is Kathy Bates doing in this sloppy mess? Never has Kathy so resembled Frosty, the gender-neutral snowman. Either she’s put on a few pounds or she has annexed the opposite sex altogether.
Kevin’s late wife evidently had a fetish for dragonflies. Is that because:
1. She has a dragonfly-shaped birthmark.
2. It’s the brand name of her childhood sled
3. “Kevin Costner Broods” isn’t as punchy a title
When Kevin finally deciphers his wife’s message he’s off to parts remote. There he encounters a primitive tribe of savages who, judging by their black bangs, worship the Stooge God Moe. “Hey, ‘Dances with Porcupine,’ spread out!”
Here, in a remarkable lapse of continuity, we see Kevin sopping wet only to see him inexplicably bone dry moments later. What an amazing talent for a guy with relatively few of them!
Naturally, Kevin’s not above cashing in on the spooky movie trend, because at this stage of his career it would be nice to cash in something besides his chips.
Here’s my advice, Kev. Start reading your scripts before signing that dotted line. Or else you’ll be reading about exciting career opportunities in retail management and the fast paced world of cosmetology.
This Dragon-fly is down.
Photos Copyright ©2002 Universal Pictures