Spacey is, as ever, fantastic, playing the kind of charismatic oddball that brought him such acclaim in American Beauty and The Usual Suspects. He manages to embody the themes of the film perfectly, imbuing his character with both a rich humanity and an eerie otherworldliness. Bridges (20 years after he played the role of an alien in Starman) is a revelation, reasserting his position as one of Hollywood's great unsung actors. Softley handles the film with precision, with each revelation from Prot's past adding to the mystery of the story, countering the film's dark, moving moments with episodes of real humour and warmth.
On the DVD: K-Pax offers a wealth of treasures on disc. Director Softley provides two commentaries (one for the UK and one for the US) and there is an interesting "making of" featurette that goes beyond the usual platitudes to offer a genuine insight into the creative process. A series of deleted scenes are combined with an alternative ending, though all the material on offer is careful not to spoil the vital ambiguity of the plot's conclusion. All the major participants are interviewed and there is a gallery of still photographs taken by Bridges. The film's often dreamlike visual mood is captured beautifully by the enhanced format; this is undoubtedly a well thought out package. --Phil Udell
Whilst the idea of life from another planet is not a new subject to be explored by films, K-Pax approaches it from a unique perspective. The film is genuinely suspenseful, and it is one of the rare films that is so well scripted that I did not see the "twist" coming at all. The film proceeds at a good pace, whilst still exploring all the issues in depth. The end is truly moving and memorable.
Kevin Spacey is once again superb in this film. He was originally offered the role of Mark, but turned it down as when he read the script it was Prot he set his heart on playing. It is easy to see why, as he really is a wonderful character and one which of all actors out there Spacey was born to play. He is very convincing as Prot and makes the character wholly believable. He builds up Prot's disturbance masterfully throughout the film and interacts brilliantly with the other characters. He also manages to force down a whole banana (skin and all - Prot loves fruit), which really is dedication to the part! Jeff Bridges is also excellent as the psychiatrist who becomes obsessed with Prot. The exchanges between the two central characters are the best parts of the film, which is funny, moving and inspirational all in one. The two actors work extremely well together.
K-Pax really is a beautiful film. The cinematography and music perfectly combine with brilliant performances to create a truly thought provoking film. It takes a special film to make you think about your priorities in life and the way humans interact with each other and react to circumstances thrust apon them. K-Pax is one of those special films. I would recommend it most highly to anyone who likes a film that is both very entertaining and intelligent.
The DDVD package is pretty decent - the alternate ending shows how good the choices the director made were. Cast interviews are a little happy clappy, but director Iain softley's commentary is as intelligent as the movie itself.
It's a great film, and really deserves very wide recognition.
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