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|The Mothman Prophecies
Starring: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Will Patton, Debra Messing
Directed By:Mark Pellington
Three 1/2 stars (out of five)
By David Hudakoc
Legend has it that prior to many of the world's greatest disasters, a
dark and mysterious figure has appeared weeks and sometimes years
before the tragedy occurs, warning of the events about to transpire.
Sightings of a huge black creature with wings and glowing red eyes were
reported just before many recent disasters, as well as those from the
past. "The Mothman," as he has come to be known, has reportedly saved
certain lives, while watching others die mercilessly.
Encounters with this Mothman were reported prior to the Chernobyl nuclear
power plant explosion in 1986 and the 1926 collapse of the Xion Te Dam in
China. Along the Ohio River, there were over 100 sightings of the Mothman
weeks and even years prior to the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge in
Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
The legend of the Mothman was recently told in John Keel's novel, The
Mothman Prophecies, which has now come to life in the film version
based on the events of the Silver Bridge disaster.
In the film, Richard Gere plays John Klein, a well-respected Washington
Post reporter whose life is turned upside down by the sudden death of his
wife, Mary (Debra Messing).
On a business trip to Richmond, Virginia, Klein mysteriously becomes lost
and finds himself miles away in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. It is here
that Klein begins to discover the same "Mothman" phenomenon that
surrounded the death of his wife is also occurring in Point Pleasant.
Gere's performance as John Klein is solid, as he is able to bring out the
complexity and frustrations of his character. However, his performance
still lacks the overall quality that could break him free of his usual
romantic comedy typecast.
Notable performances by Will Patton (Armageddon, Remember the
Titans) and Laura Linney (The Truman Show) create some
Surprisingly, though, it is Debra Messing, known best as Grace from
television's Will and Grace, that shines the brightest. Despite
having only a small role, she makes the seamless transition from sitcom to
dramatic film without difficulty.
Adding to these performances is the quick-cutting cinematography of
director Mark Pellington (Arlington Road) that creates the fear and
suspense needed to keep the audience riveted.
Yet, even with a great plot and some very eerie scenes, The Mothman
Prophecies is missing that special something to make it a great film.
The moments of tension are high during the film, but they come and go.
Constant tension is the missing element that could have made this film
more thrilling and would have left the audience better satisfied.
The Mothman Prophecies will undoubtedly spread the legend of the
Mothman, but it will also leave audiences wondering if someone is watching
their every move.