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Where the Wild Things Are almost a hit, but not quite

Spike Jonze's adaptation takes too long to gel with its theme.

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The understated beauty and the elegant alchemy of CGI, live action and vocal performance in the titular wild things goes a long way to make up for Wild Things' not quite fatal, but certainly inescapable flaw. It takes far too long for the film's subtle plot--Max (Max Records, in a debut performance that is a tad showy) escapes his mother's wary eye and becomes king of the you-know-whats--to gel with its theme: how futile it is to control others' actions. James Gandolfini gives a wonderful, open-hearted performance as Carol, Max's wild ally, and the film takes off when Carol takes a dark turn in the last act. The gesture reminded me of a line in director Spike Jonze's Adaptation: "Wow them in the end and you've got a hit." Wild Things is close, but not quite a hit.

Related Film

Where the Wild Things Are

Official Site: www.wherethewildthingsare.com

Director: Spike Jonze

Writer: Michael Goldenberg, Dave Eggers and Spike Jonze

Producer: John B. Carls, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Vincent Landay and Maurice Sendak

Cast: Catherine Keener, Max Records, Mark Ruffalo, Lauren Ambrose, James Gandolfini, Catherin O'Hara and Forest Whitaker

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