The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) Review

Daydreamer Walter Mitty must make some tough decisions in his rather mundane life, which will change everything forever. He has spent the past 16 years working for Life magazine developing negatives for the photos.

The best way to start the review about this film has to be to say that it felt like two totally different films. Walter Mitty is a day dreamer who zones out and imagines pretty outrageous and crazy things which he wishes was his real life. He has a totally different perspective of himself. Which creates or tries to create some funny moments, with some of them we are left wondering if they were real or not until they become more crazy.

His life is turned upside down when Life Magazine is changing to Life Online with a new management team and the man with the beard not liking him at all from when they first meet. Everything then hangs on image number 25 in the latest images Sean O’Connell sends to Walter for the last ever cover of Life magazine. It’s not that simple when for some reason that negative is not with the rest of them. The other thing going on with Walter is his crush on Cheryl, who ends up really helping him in his quest to find the missing image. But will he actually find the courage to tell her how he feels and really go for it?

So this is when the film leaves behind the day dreaming and Walter takes on an adventure which changes his life and himself forever. He no longer needs to daydream as he begins actually living. It’s also important to mention that an account on E-Harmony plays a big part in this as he had explained at the start that he hadn’t been anywhere or done anything.

I think the film had a very good idea and potential story but just fails to really deliver it. I understand what it was trying to do and trying to say in the sense that in life you should really take chances and make sure you do and see things. But the problem with this film is that it cannot decide whether to be serious or funny. Trying to mix those two things didn’t really work for me and it just seemed to drag on and on. Baring in mind I didn’t actually pick to see this film last night it was the secret screening at Cineworld.

We were told before the film started that this wasn’t the finished version and it could change before the release? I don’t quite believe that but it could do with a lot of changes to actually make it watchable. I was really hoping for it to hurry up and finish as it went in circles way too many times. I also felt that it needed much more Shirley MacLaine who has very limited screen time as Walter’s mother.

I won’t be recommending this film but interested to see how others found or will find it when they see it. Ben Stiller acting and directing himself in this one, maybe not the best idea in the world. Key message is about living your life, just felt like it when the wrong way about telling the audience this. I think I only found myself laughing twice which for something with a big comedy pull is disappointing. Disappointing being the key word about this film.

Set for release on Boxing Day in the UK.

7 thoughts on “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) Review

  1. I saw a trailer for this when I went to see Catching Fire yesterday and I thought the premise was fantastic but also thought it would be unlikely to work as a film. From reading about your secret screening I have to admit I’m not really surprised, I may give this a miss and wait for DVD.


    • If I was you I would just wait for it come on tv but you probably wouldn’t watch it until the end. I wanted to turn it off in the cinema last night. I don’t think it helped with it being the secret screening and so many brilliant films are coming out soon.


      • I was convinced (along with everyone else!) that it would be Last Vegas. It definitely sounds like Mitty isn’t worth any time, or even the cost for rental. Cheers for the heads up.


  2. I missed the secret screening (it clashed with the Villa, West Brom game). After that I probably wouldn’t have bothered as I am not as I am not a fan of Ben Stiller but was dragged along. I loved it. I didn’t consider the possibility that other people would not like it, but I love the fact someone like you who is also immersed in movies has a different opinion, it’s a perfect reminder that there is no good or bad, only personal taste.


    • Football is a well worthy reason to miss a secret screening! I think that was partly why I was so hard on this film. We were reminded about the Unlimited Screening of Mitty a week later just before it started (which quickly changed to a normal preview for anyone). I also think the way we had seen the bigger scene from this film really took the edge off it as well.

      Your certainly right about personal taste, that is the brilliant thing about watching films. You can take them different ways 🙂


  3. I have given this a “10” rating. There was one minor issue I had with the movie that would make it not quite that in my mind, but a “9” rating would be an injustice to this extraordinary film and, since I’m unable to give it a 9.75 or something like that, “10” it is.

    This movie strikes an incredible balance between indy/art-house and Hollywood epic. The pathos of the main character is well-captured in subtle ways, as are the feelings of triumph when he is able to go beyond his own self-imposed limitations. The cinematography is extraordinary– this is a drama that *must* be seen in theaters. I expect that most adults with any sensitivity at all will find this a highly satisfying experience that speaks to their very cores. My wife and I were privileged to see it in an advanced screening, and can’t believe we have to wait another couple of weeks for the official release to go back and see it again.

    More about the movie you can also find it here


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