Zathura: A Space Adventure (8/10)
by Tony Medley
Eight-year-old Jonah Bobo gets
top billing in the closing credits and he deserves it. Playing
six-year-old Danny to his older brother (10), Walter (Josh Hutcherson),
Danny just doesn’t get any respect. Walter thinks of him as his little
brother, and, as a result, as a pain in the neck. Their father (Tim
Robbins) is doing his best to bring them up with his separated wife in
another home. He has moved them into a creepy old house they don’t like.
When Robbins is called away one afternoon, Danny finds a board game,
Zathura, in the scary basement. Walter doesn’t want to play it with him,
but once Danny starts the game it propels them into a frightening new
world in outer space and the only way they can get back home is to
continue playing the game until its end.
While that may sound like a
children’s movie, and it is, I enjoyed it throughout. Although I’m not a
fan of special effects, the ones in this film are terrific and there
wouldn’t be a film without them. What’s nice is that the film has a good
message and a touching twist.
There are even some pretty
terrible looking lizard-like monsters. The downside of them is that they
might be too frightening for the children, but they’ve probably already
been exposed to monsters before.
Dax Shepard gives a good
performance as The Astronaut. Robbins is also effective as Dad, although
after the first ten minutes or so, he totally disappears from the story.
All in all, this is a movie
that everyone can enjoy.
November 9, 2005