The Mothman Prophecies (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner03/01/2002

Two out of five stars
Running time: 121 mins

Uneven, frustrating, disappointing film that criminally wastes the talents of Laura Linney – the movie is redeemed only by a spectacular final sequence.

The first thing to say about The Mothman Prophecies is that, unfortunately, it’s not a movie about a giant insect-man-type creature. There may very well be a Mothman, but the audience never get to see it if there is.

The second thing to say is that, rather surprisingly, it is based on a true story, on events that happened in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, as related in a book by investigative journalist John A. Keel.

Richard Gere plays John Klein, a reporter on the Washington Post. When he loses his gorgeous wife (Will & Grace’s Debra Messing) after a nasty car accident, one of the last things she says to him is ‘You didn’t see it, did you?’ and shows him a picture of a strange creature with glowing red eyes.

Things get a lot weirder when, driving from Washington to -he thinks- Virginia, he suddenly finds himself 300 miles away in West Virginia. To make matters worse, when he knocks on someone's door to ask where he is, he is accused of having harassed the man for three days!

It quickly transpires that Strange Things Are Occurring in the town and that almost everyone has seen or believes in the Mothman, who seems to be regarded as some sort of harbinger of doom.

Gere subsequently hooks up with a local cop (Laura Linney, possibly repaying Gere for having kick-started her career with Primal Fear, but sadly wasted here) and they investigate, as Klein believes his wife's death is somehow related.

And then things get a lot sillier because the Mothman starts calling Gere on the phone. For a chat. You know, as large insect-like men are wont to do.

Unfortunately, since we never actually see the Mothman or find out anything about him (Is he an alien? An angel? A creature? A figment of Klein's imagination?), the film degenerates into a slow moving 'thriller' in which nothing much really happens until the spectacular finale (based, again, on a real-life occurrence).

In short, then, The Mothman Prophecies, despite its intriguing title, is a disappointing film, with more than its fair share of unintentionally funny bits. If you're a fan of disaster movies, it is just about worth seeing for the finale, but you have to sit through an awful lot of tedious nonsense to get there.

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The Mothman Prophecies (15)
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Content updated: 16/07/2018 13:43

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