“Gifted” is directed by Marc Webb, who also directed “The Amazing Spider-Man” series and “500 Days of Summer,” and this film stars Chris Evans, who you may know as Captain America in the MCU, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate, and Octavia Spencer, who was recently nominated for an Oscar for her performance in “Hidden Figures,” which is a nomination I personally don’t get. I don’t mind Octavia Spencer as an actress, I just feel some other people did better in the movie that were more deserving of a nomination as opposed to her. Anyway, this film is about a guy named Frank, who lives with her niece, Mary, who is a child prodigy. Unfortunately, Frank is brought into a custody battle with his mother.
I went into this movie with some expectations. These expectations included: To get a good glimpse at the life of this child genius, get some good performances, and have it make me feel certain emotions. Unluckily, I left disappointed. With that being said, this movie isn’t terrible, it just isn’t likable.
Have you ever seen a movie that has tons of product placement? I know I have. I’ve seen all of the Michael Bay “Transformers” movies, “The Smurfs,” and if you remember last year’s “Mother’s Day” film, that was on my top 10 worst list of last year, and one of the reasons for that has to do with incessant and bogus product placement. This movie also has a good amount of it, I mean, it could be worse, but it’s still bad. It also gave me a bad impression at the very beginning. Like, the niece is eating breakfast, she isn’t all that happy, and there’s a cereal box on the table, for the sake of a humorous scene, Chris Evans’s character turns it around and it shows that the cereal is Special K from Kellogg’s. I say humorous scene because there were actually a good number of people cracking up when the front of the cereal box appeared. I just thought, “Oh, so it’s gonna be this type of movie.” This kind of gave me a bad first impression, especially when you consider some of the cast members that are in this movie.
Speaking of product placement, there is one thing I want to point out, Google is used so much in this film. I mean, it almost feels like Google donated so much money towards this movie just to have appearances in multiple scenes, including ones that are crucial to the overall plot. If I had to count all of the scenes they were featured in, I’d guess that the number would come out to somewhere between 3 and 5, so, threeve, I guess? If you have seen SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy sketch you’d get this. As much as I’m annoyed by this, it’s actually not the first time something like this was in a Marc Webb film. If you remember “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Peter Parker uses Bing in three different scenes. But still, it’s annoying, and I don’t like it.
Anywho, let’s move onto the characters. Chris Evans plays Frank in this film, and throughout a good chunk of this film, I couldn’t decide whether or not Frank was a dick or confused, I liked him better towards the end though based on some events that occurred in the film, but overall, I can’t say I was absolutely fond of this character.
Mckenna Grace plays the child prodigy in this film and as far as child actors go, I say that her performance was quite suitable. While this isn’t my favorite child performance, I wouldn’t say it belongs in a dumpster fire. Oh, and yeah, she swears in this film, and as of right now, this girl just entered the double digit ages, so I must say while her parents must be infuriated and shocked about this (unless of course they hear her swear often or they read the script or heard the line before it was even shot), it did get a laugh from the audience. I can’t remember if I laughed or not, and that’s kind of sad because while this movie is serious, there are some times where it tries to throw in some humor and it fails. I mean, if you remember “Manchester by the Sea,” I said a big problem with that movie is that it should have been all seriousness and no humor, but at least when it had humor, it actually made me laugh slightly more. I remember chuckling a bit, but that’s probably the maximum of all my laughter released throughout the film. And unlike “Manchester by the Sea,” this seemed like a movie where some humor would be suitable.
I’m not gonna focus too much more on characters, but one more character I want to talk about is Lindsay Duncan’s character, Evelyn. In this movie, Evelyn is Frank’s mother, and her growing relationship with Mary is somewhat threatening towards the one Mary already has with Frank considering they live together. I’m not gonna get into much detail, but this movie spends a good amount of time in a courtroom, and what do I think about those scenes? They’re forgettable. However, if I remember one thing, I can remember that this mother was presented as a queen of douchebags based on a single detail during one of those scenes, I won’t really go into much detail, but still, that’s how I saw her character at one point.
One more thing I want to bring up is this, if you want to know my thoughts on this movie, this can sum them up in a nutshell. There is this one scene, where Frank and Mary are interacting with each other in this film, and there’s a TV on in the background. On the TV is the original “Ice Age” movie from 2002. Now during this scene, while they are talking, I am looking towards the TV with my eyes glued to it. That just goes to show, I was more interested in watching “Ice Age,” a movie that was in this movie, than this actual movie itself.
In conclusion, I was disappointed with “Gifted,” this movie sounded rather interesting based on the concept, and believe it or not I can somewhat relate to the child prodigy, I might not be as smart as her, but there is a scene that suggests she wants to correct people, specifically older ones. I, possibly like her, do it out of what I see as assistance, but others may see something else out of it. Nevertheless, despite the relatability, it’s hard for me to like this film. I spent many times rolling my eyes, questioning the film, silently yelling at the screen in a way that nobody could hear me, all to the point where I just don’t want to watch this film again. I’m gonna give “Gifted” a 3/10. Thanks for reading this review, pretty soon I’m gonna try and see “The Fate of the Furious,” so hopefully I can have that review up soon, and I might watch “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo,” which is now in select theaters and streaming services. It’s not playing in any theaters near me last time I checked, so I’m just gonna use a streaming service to watch this if I do ever get the chance. Also, be sure to check out the latest entry in my series of “Spider-Man” reviews, “Spider-Man 2.” The link is down below, if you want to read it, go right ahead, but just a heads up, the post is LONG, so if you make it through the end, just pretend I’m in front of you giving you a sticker. Stay tuned for more reviews. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
“SPIDER-MAN 2” REVIEW *SPOILERS FOR THIS FILM AND SPIDER-MAN 1*: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/spider-man-2-best-superhero-movie-to-date-spoilers-for-this-movie-spider-man-1/