Dragonfly

-

Dragonfly

-

Dragonfly

Community Grade

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F
?

Your Grade

?

With only a few well-chosen words from beyond the grave, the ludicrous supernatural thriller Dragonfly would be over at the end of reel one, which is about how long it takes to decode the "message" that vexes poor Kevin Costner throughout the film. When his beloved wife dies in a bus accident in the Venezuelan jungle, Costner plays what amounts to an exasperating game of celestial charades, piecing together cryptic clues from the near-death experiences of beatific kids in the Pediatric Oncology Ward. "She says you should go there," advises one li'l conduit after a chat with Costner's wife in the fabled tunnel with the white light. But where is "there"? (Hint: One word, three syllables, third syllable rhymes with "wall.") If her message is so urgent, why not just spill it in the tunnel, instead of making Costner fiddle around like Richard Dreyfuss with his mashed potatoes in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind? In his rush to cash in on the Sixth Sense phenomenon, director Tom Shadyac—the scaremeister behind Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Patch Adams—labors to hide his big-twist ending, even if it that results in more than a few head-slapping gaps in logic and motivation. The crucial difference between the gimmick endings of Dragonfly and The Sixth Sense is that the latter film has sound reasons to withhold its information, tied to the mutual needs of two characters who are wrestling with the ineffable. But Costner needs only to be talked out of his atheism and into the notion of a New Age afterlife, which should be a lightning-quick transformation for anyone pummeled with so much divine evidence. Costner's wife has a startling range of supernatural communication tools at her disposal: She can speak to dying patients through words and symbols, move heavy objects around the house, manipulate her pet parrot, and arrange for dragonflies to hover outside the window in the middle of a Chicago winter. Apparently, the only things she can't do are write down directions on a piece of paper and plan out a sensible itinerary with Costner's travel agent. Awash in cheap shocks and corny sentiment, Dragonfly aspires to be an inspirational thriller about one man's spiritual journey, but it takes little time for him to reach his destination. All that's left for him and the audience to do is solve a riddle unfit for the back of a cereal box.

More DVD Review