Sixth Sense, The

Reviewed By Chelsea Mannix
Posted 10/07/99 23:14:51

"'WOW'? - Sorry, I tend to disagree."
2 stars (Pretty Crappy)

The promotional poster you've seen at the bus stops says "WOW" - I tend to disagree. "Wow how boring" would be a bit too harsh - so I'll take a seat on the fence for this one.

This is the story of a little boy who is able to "see things". Things being dead people of course. Bruce Willis plays Malcolm, the kind child psychologist who is trying to help Cole - at the same time redeeming himself from failing one of his patients years ago. Toni Collette plays Cole's single mum who is going out of her mind trying to work out what is the matter with her child, better none as 'freak' to the kids at school. What seems like the longest opening sequence - just the names on a black screen and music building up to something I have yet to figure out - is followed by one of the slowest first scenes I have witnessed in ages. Who are these people? And should I be scared at all? The distributors want you to think this is a thriller - but I wasn't thrilled. I heard a few aahhs towards the end of the film, as people began to understand certain elements I wouldn't want to ruin for you, but I thought they gave it all away in their trailer. Cynical? Correct. Maybe my time has come - I have seen too many movies - my sense of illusion shattered. Was I the only one to see straight through the twist they set up throughout the film? Am I the only one who was left intellectually stimulated by the film? How could I be? We have seen enough of this sort of thing to know better.
So where are the good bits? There are a lot of them. Haley Joel Osment, who plays scared little Cole is exceptional. His performance certainly steals the limelight from the two big names which are marketing it. Bruce Willis is quite good - in this non-action role, but his soothing psychologist role borders on monotonous. Toni Collette is great as usual, but her single white tarty mum role is limiting. Flashbacks to Cate in Pushing Tin anyone? On top of that she gets about twenty minutes screen time - but when she shines, it's hard to miss. There are even some great moments in the film - it is able to pull a few heartstrings, and there's even the occasional 'frightening' character. Notice I said character - I personally expect more from a movie which labels itself 'thriller'.

On a whole though - you could wait for video.

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