K-Pax Ian Softley
Published Nov 01, 2001Prot (Kevin Spacey) is a man from outer space who, if we are to take his and the cinematographer's word for it, beamed down to earth by harnessing a shaft of light. No small feat. But has he really arrived from his home planet of K-Pax as he claims, or is this yet another clever ruse, concocted by the studios, to keep us amusedly on our toes? It will be left to the medical community, in the form of an overworked, overwrought psychiatrist, Dr. Powell (Jeff Bridges) to sift through the treacle and determine the truth.
And what better man to set upon the task than Mr. Bridges, the Starman who played an extra-terrestrial with such aplomb more than a decade ago. Surely he can get to the bottom of this mess, non? Think again. As the doctor sets upon his task, his scepticism is given a workout. Prot (rhymes with " bloat") refuses, of all things, to respond to the mega-doses of anti-depressants administered him. He also seems to have a super-human grasp of astrophysics, an obvious sign that he is not from this place. So what alternative does the good doctor have but to invite this patient into his personal life. Surely, there's more to this man than meets the eye, the good doctor surmises?
For the more cynical among us, Ian Softley's fish-out-of-water tale will seem simple-minded and contrived. And, like the shaft of light that Spacey rode in on, they will look beyond what the screenwriter is shoving down their throat and see Prot for what he is a severely deluded individual who has suffered some sort of psychic break. Spacey, his eyes covered in Ray Ban's for the first part of the movie, is in "full sincerity" mode and his emotions are so bright and shiny that you will wish it was you sheathed in shaded glasses. Those, though, who are looking to ignore the blatant Oscar grabs and unbelievably illogical mental leaps, this not-so-bitter pill will be just what the doctor ordered filled with endearing crazy people and feel-good-about-life platitudes. Prozac for these troubled times.
My question after viewing "K-Pax" is this: Is there any sign of intelligent life left in Hollywood?