Stick a fork in Kevin Costner, he's done.
The once-ruggedly handsome leading everyman from Bull Durham, Field of
Dreams, The Untouchables and No Way Out is officially over. The Kevin
Costner experience has been on the down slope for quite a while, and
dadgummit, the bottom has been hit, and he has fallen off the radar once
and hopefully for all.
The film which proclaimed his death knell is Dragonfly, the latest in a
series of mistakes that bear Kevin's once proud name over the title.
Kevin's journey into obscurity and unimportance began in earnest with The
Postman, which was long, slow and dull. He then gave us the long, slow
and dull Message in a Bottle, the long, slow and dull For the Love of the
Game, the long and slow (but surprisingly not dull) Thirteen Days, the
just plain horrid 3000 Miles to Graceland (which, for a Vegas Elvis heist
picture, was surprisingly long, slow and dull) and has culminated in the
long, slow and dull Dragonfly.
6 films, 6 flops. Buh-bye.
Dragonfly is the long, slow and dull tale of Joe Darrow. Joe's wife
Emily dies more or less in the opening credits. But then she just
doesn't bother to leave him alone. So is he getting messages from the
dead? Or is he just fooling himself with wishful thinking? And what
about the children?
For God's sake, what about the children?
Emily had a birthmark on her body in the shape of the dragonfly, and the
insect was her "totem familiar" or some such nonsense. So now that
Emily's dead, Joe sees dragonflies everywhere. And a bunch of
mostly-dead kids start drawing pictures of a squiggly cross and telling
Joe to go there. But where is the squiggly cross? What do they mean?
The movie is a long, slow ride to nowhere. However, its ending saves it
from being a total disaster. It has one of those endings that make you
sit up and wish you'd just stepped into the theater to catch the last
five minutes. Sadly, in order to appreciate the ending, you have to sit
in your chair, your bottom slowly fusing with the cushions, for the
entire movie. What a pain.
Kevin Costner no longer acts. He hasn't acted since JFK, if then. He
doesn't emote, he doesn't activate, he doesn't exist. He stares. He
stands in a room and stares, as if he's really, really sleepy. His voice
has the vocal range of a musical triangle. You'd think someone would
have explained this to him by now, and done their utmost to steer him
away from any movie which forces him to do voice-over. If you thought
Kevin was dull to watch, try just listening to him.
I think back to Dances With Wolves and wonder how we could have thought
he was such a great actor. He was up for Best Actor for that film. How
is that possible? Actually, it's pretty easy, his character spent much
of the movie zoned out on life. A perfect fit for Kevin.
I used to like him a lot. Bull Durham and Field of Dreams are two truly
great movies. I've got the DVDs. And I don't love these just because I
love baseball. He was a different actor in those films, but he got old,
he became a caricature of himself, and he decided that he was best used
in films that were long, slow and dull. So sad.
There are other actors in the film. Joe Morton stampedes around the
hospital like he's the big bad wolf. Linda Hunt is her usual wonderful
self. Kathy Bates continues to pop up in the strangest flicks. None of
them can make up for Kevin sucking the life out of the celluloid.
Dragonfly picks up a very forgiving 2 Babylons. Still, no need for you
to see it, it's about as spooky as burnt toast.
Let us all bow our heads in a moment of silence in memory of Kevin's
I have no idea what "death knell" is, and the SMC was in the bathroom
when I was editing this, so I couldn't ask him if that was a typo or not.
I'm leaving it in. Probably some D&D reference.
Directed By: Tom Shadyac
Starring: Kevin Costner, Joe Morton, Susanna Thompson, Linda Hunt, Ron
Rifkin, Kathy Bates, Jay Thomas and a bunch of squiggly lines.