Welcome to Marven (2018) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
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Director Robert Zemeckis of “Forest Gump” and “The Walk” takes on the real life event of “Marvencol”, a tale of how man suffers from post trauma disorder after a brutal attack leaving him almost at the death bed. In turn, Marven created a world called Marvencol” blurring the boundaries of reality and fiction. What I enjoyed about the film is enjoyable understated performance of Steve Carrell and the plastic dolls sequences which are at well arranged and perhaps more human. What makes the film inspiring is the fact that Marven manages to find a way to live thru there horrific event and even manages to excel thru his imagination of another world. It’s a story that will be relevant to many who suffers post trauma disorder often need to find another world to deal with the existing brutal realities.
Steve Carrell shines in yet another dramatic role that requires an understated yet emotionally driven character. Carrell manages to bring out the best of both worlds, the plastic dolls roaming with plenty of ladies on his arm and fighting off gangs of 5 Nazis, whilst juxtaposing to his real world in his failed attempted to woo his next door neighbour. Leslie Mann as the next door neighbour, unrequited love interest shines in her interactions with Carrell. Meanwhile, we get a great cast of plastic dolls female action heroes.
All in all, “Welcome to Marven” suffers from a dramatic climax and involvement of the audience as we are constantly switched from reality and fiction. When we are placed deep within the mind of Carrell, we are often lost in the process. Director Zemeckis have made many great films and most of his best works either visually stunning or equally dramatic. This film is definitely well meaning and even inspiring, but lacks that real cutting edge to be something memorable.
I rated it 7.5/10