Phenomenon (1996)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B

USA, 1996.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

John Travolta plays a sweet simpleton living in a rural farming community who goes idiot savant when magical powers begin to overcome him and affect the lives of those living near him. After a near-miraculous bolt of lightning touches him, Travolta can move objects with his mind, learn languages at lightning-bolt speed and possibly talk to animals.  plays the girlfriend, a homegrown artist who sells the odd rocking chair and affords herself a mansion. This is one of those movies where twenty million dollar men like Travolta say that the fuzzy, lovable character they’re playing is more like their real selves than any other character they’ve ever had the privilege to play (my guess is that he’s actually closer to both of his Face/Off characters, but I won’t push the point). For some, the outcome of this limp drama will seem stupid and shallow, but for me the film started out that way so I felt no disappointment, I just hate it in its complete form for the manipulative cheese that it is.

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