The Great Buck Howard

Tom Hanks wonders, "Where did I go wrong?" He plays the fictional father of his real-life son, Colin ("The House Bunny" and "W."), whose character has dropped out of law school and signed on as the personal assistant ("gofer") to a demanding, egotistical, eccentric "Mentalist," the eponymous Buck Howard, as he milks his waning celebrity to half-empty houses in small towns and cities across rural America.

During the introduction at the Sedona Film Festival, the managing director told us that when he first saw the film at an earlier festival he thought, "OMG! I worked for this guy! It's Kreskin the Great!" He had coordinated one of Kreskin's appearances and encountered exactly the same eccentricities shown in this movie. Sure enough, when this movie ends, it gives credit for inspiration to the aforementioned Kreskin!

Once again, John Malkovich ("Burn After Reading," "Changling" and "Being John Malkovich") has found a role that suits his oddball appearance and delivery. He is perfect as a talented, driven misfit who wants to be recognized for his unique stunts. Through one mishap after another, his most spectacular "event" is overlooked by the press and he sinks into even greater obscurity. He has one regular, sure-fire stunt where the payment for his appearance is placed in an envelope; while he is absent, the audience conspires to hide it from him. He comes back out and discovers where it is hidden. The success and/or failure of this stunt is central to the plot.

My opinion?
  • Colin Hanks is adequate
  • Emily Blunt's considerable talent is wasted
  • John Malkovich owns his role
  • Great production values
  • Formidable supporting cast.

This movie doesn't disappoint....nor does it thrill....