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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-The Martian Child

John Cusack and Bobby Coleman star as David and Dennis in The Martian Child, now showing in theaters.  Photo courtesy New Line Cinema
John Cusack and Bobby Coleman star as David and Dennis in The Martian Child, now showing in theaters. Photo courtesy New Line Cinema

By Sara Pintilie/entertainment editor

John Cusack and Bobby Coleman star as David and Dennis in The Martian Child, now showing in theaters.  Photo courtesy New Line Cinema
John Cusack and Bobby Coleman star as David and Dennis in The Martian Child, now showing in theaters. Photo courtesy New Line Cinema

Though Martian Child, directed by Manolete’s Menno Meyjes, becomes too warm and fuzzy for its own good, the film is a well-acted showcase for John Cusack.

Science-fiction writer and widower David (Cusack) adopts 6-year-old Dennis (Surface’s Bobby Coleman).

Dennis is an eccentric kid. He eats only Lucky Charms, takes pictures without any film and believes he is from Mars.

But with his eccentricities comes problems. He doesn’t connect with his newfound dad, and David has problems adjusting to having a Martian in the house.

David seeks help from his sister Liz (The School of Rock’s Joan Cusack) and childhood friend Harlee (Identity’s Amanda Peet).

The movie is relatively simple. Man wants a son. Man adopts boy. Boy turns out to be Martian. Man on the fence on liking Martian boy.

But unfortunately with this otherworldly premise, the film falls into the typical cliché cracks.

The film is formulaic and forgettable but not horrible.

Half of the movie is worthy of paying moviegoers, thanks to Cusack’s acting performance and the supporting cast. But the rest is too fluffy and sappy to be taken seriously.

Dennis is unconvincing as a Martian, but as an abandoned boy, he does well. The only problem is he is comes off more annoying than adorable.

Though the movie has its flaws, the underlying point of Martian Child is sweet and endearing.

Cusack (Grosse Pointe Blank) is always a great asset to a film and does well here though he seems to have a thing for playing a widower (1408, The Contract and Grace is Gone).

The best part of the film is the Joan-John dynamic.

The siblings have a natural chemistry, of course, but it’s always a treat to see them acting together.

Peet is a sunny attribute of the film, serving as a transition into lighter moments of the movie.

The comic relief is David’s agent Jeff (The Three Musketeers’ Oliver Platt), who is an added bonus.

Anjelica Huston (The Royal Tenenbaums) pops up toward the end of the film in a glorified cameo.

This strong supporting cast can’t save the movie from its own schmaltziness, but the actors do make the film more enjoyable.

Martian Child is not worth seeing in theaters but might be a good choice for a family-friendly rental.

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