‘Odd Thomas’ (the Film)

Some of us were looking forward to the Odd Thomas movie, due in 2013, but it only happened in a marginal way. Legal problems prevented a conventional theater release, as I understand it. It’s now available on disk and on Netflix, where I viewed it.

Apparently a lot of people who’ve seen it didn’t like it. Well I liked it fine. I have quibbles, but I enjoyed immensely.

A very faithful adaptation of Dean Koontz’s first novel in the Odd Thomas series, this film stars Anton Yelchin, who’s appropriately charming in the role. Addison Timlin plays his beloved Stormy Llewellyn, and Willem Dafoe is Sheriff Wyatt Porter. Odd is a simple fry cook in a small town, but he has the supernatural power to see dead people who, though they can’t speak to him, appeal for his help in identifying their murderers or helping them “cross over” into the next world. He also sees demons he calls “bodachs” whose appearance inevitably portends some major act of mass violence. An unprecedented number of bodachs have been prowling the town recently, and Odd is compelled to do all he can to discover who’s planning mass murder, and stop them.

The cast is almost uniformly excellent, especially Yelchin, who seems to have the spirit of the character down, which is the really important matter for any lover of the books.

I have only a couple quibbles. One is that Odd is hyped a bit, presented as having Benihana skills with spatulas, and being a sort of martial arts master. That’s not a big deal. Worse is the casting of Patton Oswalt as Odd’s friend Boone, perhaps the worst miscasting since Whoopie Goldberg played Bernie Rodenbahr in Burglar. Fortunately his scene is very short.

All in all, perhaps the most faithful adaptation of a novel I’ve ever seen, and well worth viewing or even buying.

And yes, if you must know, I cried.

6 thoughts on “‘Odd Thomas’ (the Film)”

  1. Wonder about the legal issues. Would have loved to have seen it on the big screen. Maybe Koontz didn’t approve?

  2. Actually, Koontz thought it was the best adaption of his work to screen so far. The reason it went through so many troubles was due to lawsuits involving the advertising.

    Shame it was caught in the crossfire.

  3. I watched the film on your recommendation. Liked it a lot. But I don’t understand why the director/script writer felt the need to mess with the Bodachs. Koontz’s presentation of them is superior to the more heavy-handed version on sale in the film. Still, a good way to decompress from a stressful week.

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