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movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Dragonfly

Starring: Kevin Costner, Linda Hunt
Director: Tom Shadyac
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 105 Minutes
Release Date: February 2002
Genre: Suspense

*Also starring: Matt Craven, Joe Morton, Ron Rifkin, Jay Thomas, Kathy Bates, Kathryn Erbe, Jacob Smith

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

Truly dim-witted movies are few and far between; most coast into obscurity - or the video store - unheralded and un-reviewed. But when Kevin Costner stars and Tom Shadyac ("Patch Adams") directs this anguish-filled spiritual/supernatural thriller, it's hard to ignore. Costner plays Joe Darrow, the cynical chief of Emergency Services at a Chicago hospital. Despite his misgivings, his pregnant wife, Emily (Susanna Thompson), a pediatric oncologist, has gone on a Red Cross mercy mission to Venezuela, where there's a terrible bus accident in which everyone is presumed dead. Darrow is devastated, throwing himself into his work and obsessing about dragonflies, which were his wife's talisman since she had a dragonfly-like birthmark on her shoulder. "They were sort of her thing, like a personal totem," he recalls. "Now I see them everywhere." Indeed, they're eerily tapping at his windows and weirdly fluttering in his brain. Is his dead wife is trying to communicate to him through them. And what about her terminally-ill young patients who report they've seen her "inside a rainbow" and draw wavy crosses? Darrow's neighbor (Kathy Bates) thinks he's crazy, but a nun (Linda Hunt) explains, "There are 100 steps on the ladder of consciousness." Eventually, for Darrow, that ladder shamelessly stretches to a Stone Age village on the Amazon River. Costner's had practice doing this stolid grieving widower gig in "Message in a Bottle," but no actor could survive the feeble, mawkish dialogue by Brandon Camp, Mike Thompson and David Seltzer, plus Shadyac's ponderous pacing. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Dragonfly" scores a sappy, silly 3, appealing to those who call Madame Cleo for psychic readings and truly believe that TV's John Edwards "crosses over." Bah, hokum!

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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