Review by Ross Anthony

Oh the irony, Kevin Spacey plays a man who appears to be from outer space - his home planet: K-PAX. Initially, the film follows the familiar orbits of other humanoid-on-Earth or savior-in-the-loony-house films, but ultimately distinguishes itself due (in large part) to Kevin's spacey grin.

Within minutes of his appearance, Spacey is questioned by police, "Could you please remove your sunglasses sir?" Spacey, "I'd rather not, your planet is really very bright."

This comment jettisons Spacey into a psychiatric institution where he and Doc Jeff Bridges sort of treat each other for dysfunctionality.

To this point, the film teeters on the trite, its script feeling naive, unpolished, young, but strong of heart. If not for the superb acting and production value, it may have failed to complete the mission. Still, some fresh quips from Spacey keep the sphere spinning, "Don't worry -- I'm not going to leap out of your chest." Or as Kevin munches on some juicy strawberries, "For your produce alone, it was worth the trip."

K-PAXEventually, Bridges, completely obsessed with the case, hypnotizes Spacey. Here the film engages the viewer emotionally and never lets go. Still not devastatingly unique, the performances, photography, direction and specifics brand the picture with its own style.

Making its point multiple times "c," there is no need for ending narration which scrapes coarsely against appropriate visuals. Their film school teachers would have waved disapproving fingers at filmmakers for that one, "Say it with story, not with sentences!"

Still, I have to admit, "K-PAX's" gravitational pull swallowed me in and engaged my emotions. It's been a while since that happened.

Director's statement, "K-PAX doesn't fit into any one genre. Even though there's something very fantastical about it, I think people will find that it strikes a chord within their own lives on a number of levels. It is part mystery, part comedy, part human drama. It asks us to look beyond the rational and to admit the possibility of different versions of the truth, beyond the limits of our knowledge. And to look at our relationships, the world and the universe with hope and wonder."

  • K-PAX. Copyright © 2001. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Alfre Woodard, Mary McCormack, Peter Gerety, Saul Williams, David Patrick Kelly.
  • Directed by Iain Softley.
  • Screenplay by Charles Leavitt.
  • Produced by Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, & Robert F. Colesberry at Universal/Intermedia.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:06:28 PDT