The Last Mimzy (2007)

Movie


The Last Mimzy (2007)

The siblings Noah and Emma travel with their mother Jo from Seattle to the family cottage in Whidbey Island to spend a couple of days while their workaholic father David Wilder is working. They find a box of toys from the future in the water and bring it home, and Emma finds a stuffed rabbit called Mimzy, and stones and a weird object, but they hide their findings from their parents. Mimzy talks telepathically to Emma and the siblings develop special abilities, increasing their intelligence to the level of genius. Their father becomes very proud when Noah presents a magnificent design in the fair of science and technology, and his teacher Larry White and his mystic wife Naomi Schwartz become interested in the boy when he draws a mandala. When Noah accidentally assembles the objects and activates a powerful generator creating a blackout in the state, the FBI arrests the family trying to disclose the mystery. But Emma reveals the importance to send Mimzy back to the future.
USA
IMDb   6.2 /10
Metacritic   59 %
TheMovieDb    6.3 /10
RottenTomatoes
FilmAffinity   5.3 /10
Creators
Director Robert Shaye
Writer Bruce Joel Rubin
Writer Toby Emmerich
Writer James V. Hart
Writer Carol Skilken
Writer Henry Kuttner
Writer C.L. Moore
Information
Release Date2007-03-23
Runtime1h 30mins
GenreAction, Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi
Content RatingPG (PG)
Awards7 nominations.
CompanyNew Line Cinema, Michael Phillips Productions
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish, Spanish
Noah Wilder
Larry White
Naomi Schwartz
Nathanial Broadman
Sheila Broadman (as Kirsten Williamson)
Irene Snow
Irene Snow
Teacher in Meadow
Kid with Braces
School Guard (as Scott Miller)
Julie the Babysitter
Future Scientist

The Last Mimzy

The Last Mimzy is a 2007 American science fiction adventure drama film directed by Robert Shaye. It was loosely based upon the 1943 science fiction short story "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Lewis Padgett (a pseudonym of husband-and-wife team Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore). The film features Timothy Hutton, Joely Richardson, Rainn Wilson, Kathryn Hahn, Michael Clarke Duncan, and introduces Rhiannon Leigh Wryn as seven-year-old Emma Wilder and Chris O’Neil as ten-year-old Noah.


Plot

A scientist in the distant future has set out to avert a catastrophic ecological disaster. A small number of high tech devices, in the forms of toys are sent back in time to modern day Seattle. Here they are found by two children: Noah Wilder and his younger sister, Emma. The "toys" are initially incomprehensible to them, other than one which appears to be a stuffed rabbit. The children keep their discovery secret from their parents.

Emma becomes telepathically connected to the stuffed rabbit, "Mimzy", which imparts knowledge to her. The children gain genius-level intellects and psionic powers. Thanks to her link, Emma develops the more advanced abilities. Only she can use the "spinners", which can float and produce a force field. Noah can teleport objects. Emma describes herself as "the chosen one" but names Noah as "the engineer" without which she cannot "build the bridge to the future".

The children's parents, and Larry White, Noah's science schoolteacher discover the devices and the children's powers. By mistake, Noah causes a power black-out over half the state of Washington, alerting the FBI to their activities. The family is held for questioning by Special Agent Nathaniel Broadman. The Mimzy is revealed as artificial life utilizing nanotechnology created by Intel.

Emma relates Mimzy's dire message: None of the other Mimzys had returned to their home time. Now Mimzy is beginning to disintegrate, and must convey uncorrupted human DNA to the future to correct the damage done to DNA by ecological catastrophes. The FBI do not believe them, so Noah and Emma use their powers to escape. Mimzy absorbs a tear from Emma, which contains the girl's DNA. Via the time portal, which they have constructed, Mimzy returns to the future.

Noah's science teacher, who witnessed Mimzy leaving the present, says he saw "numbers", a reference to a previous dream he had which related to him the winning lottery numbers. He had missed out before by never buying a ticket. In the future, Mimzy provides the genetic information required to restore humanity, both physically and mentally.


Cast

  • Rhiannon Leigh Wryn as Emma Wilder
  • Chris O'Neil as Noah Wilder Chris Sipe as Noah Wilder (other scenes)
  • Chris Sipe as Noah Wilder (other scenes)
  • Timothy Hutton as David Wilder
  • Joely Richardson as Jo Wilder
  • Rainn Wilson as Larry White,
  • Kathryn Hahn as Naomi Schwartz
  • Michael Clarke Duncan as FBI Special Agent Nathaniel Broadman.
  • Patrick Gilmore as FBI Task Force Agent.
  • Kirsten Williamson as Sheila Broadman
  • Marc Musso as Harry Jones
  • Megan McKinnon as Wendy
  • Irene Snow as Lena, the story's narrator.

Other characters

Mackenzie Hamilton and Calum Worthy cameo as Teenage cyborgs. Well-known string theorist Brian Greene has a cameo appearance as an Intel scientist.


Development and production

The Last Mimzy is loosely based upon "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Lewis Padgett (the pen name of collaborators Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore); the story appeared in John W. Campbell's magazine Astounding in 1943. The central idea of "toys" sent from the future to the present, and of the toys' alteration of the children's thought patterns remains, but with many differences. Originally, the transferal (from an unspecified date millions of years in the future) occurs by accident. The story makes the point that exposure to novel concepts would alter the children's perceptions "naturally" (irrespective of any intention on the part of the device's creator), since it would take place during an early phase of their intellectual development. Both the film's and short story's titles are derived from third line of the nonsense verse poem "Jabberwocky" in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. The adapted screenplay is by Bruce Joel Rubin and Toby Emmerich.

The film's production team also included editor Alan Heim and sound designer Dane Davis. Visual effects were created by The Orphanage, and location filming was done in Roberts Creek and Collingwood School.


Re-release of the short story

The Last Mimzy: Stories, a retitled repackaging of the collection The Best of Henry Kuttner, was released in paperback, with a new title and cover art to tie in with the film. "Mimsy Were the Borogroves" led off the collection.


Reception

Box office

The Last Mimzy grossed nearly $21.5 million in North America and $6.1 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $27.5 million,

Critical response

Critical response to The Last Mimzy was mixed, and ranged from saying that it holds appeal for family audiences, especially children. They described the story as distracting. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 55% based on 126 reviews, with an average score of 5.8/10. The site's critical consensus states, "The Last Mimzy makes efforts to be a fun children's movie, but unsuccessfully juggles too many genres and subplots—eventually settling as an unfocused, slightly dull affair" On Metacritic, the film had a score of 59 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".

Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times called it, "Wholesome, eager entertainment that doesn't talk down", agreeing with Ken Fox of TV Guide's Movie Guide who said it was "a thoughtful and sincere interpretation that actually get kids and their guardians thinking and talking." Calling the film "lightweight", the Atlanta Journal-Constitution rated it a "small gem". The Chicago Sun-Times went as far as to say The Last Mimzy is an "emotionless empty shell" compared to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Critics diverged regarding the scientific validity of the film. Reviewer Susan Granger said, "There's some validity to the challenging science depicted in the film, according to Brian Greene, Columbia University physics professor, and Susan Smalley, UCLA neurobehavioral genetics professor." By contrast, Rick Norwood (The SF Site) writes, "The Last Mimzy has carefully expunged all of the ideas from the story, and replaced them with the New Age nonsense that passes for ideas these days. They have also taken a very personal story about one family and a box of toys from the future and turned it into an epic story in which childlike innocence saves the human race".


Soundtrack

The soundtrack for the film was composed by Howard Shore, the award-winning composer behind the scores of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters also collaborated on a song called "Hello (I Love You)". "I think together we've come up with a song that captures the themes of the movie—the clash between humanity's best and worst instincts, and how a child's innocence can win the day", Roger Waters commented.

Track listing


Awards

AwardCategoryNomineeResult
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror FilmsBest Performance by a Young ActorRhiannon Leigh WrynNominated
Best Science Fiction FilmNominated
29th Young Artist AwardsBest Family Feature FilmNominated
Best Performance by a Leading Young ActorChris O'NeilNominated
Best Performance by a Young ActressRhiannon Leigh WrynNominated
Best Performance by a Young Ensemble CastChris O'Neil
Rhiannon Leigh Wryn
Marc Musso
Megan McKinnon
Nicole Muñoz
Nominated