For better or worse, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has very little in common with The New Yorker short story it’s based on. Ben Stiller directs and stars in this raucous comedy about a man who does more daydreaming than living. He frequently zones out, mid sentence even, to go on adventures that are only in his mind’s eye. While the daydream dialogue is revealing, it’s not enough to make the over-the-top fantasies likeable.
LIFE magazine caves to the dot com world under the new leadership of  Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott), who coincidentally should earn a douche-bag boss of the year award. Driven by an iron clad work ethic Mitty discovers the man within, his daydreams become less frequent as his real life becomes the stuff he’s only dreamed about. Without the proper encouragement Mitty may never have gone to such great lengths to track down a negative. Surprise appearance by Patton Oswalt as Todd Maher, the overly helpful dating service advisor. If nothing else this movie reminds us to find the courage to follow our inner voice no matter how scary it might be because the rewards will outweigh the risk. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty features an impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack that is sure to please even the pickiest listener.
Loosely based on a 1939 story by James Thurber, writer Steven Conrad keeps the daydreams, but develops the story into a modern day theme about finding one’s self.

But thanks to the suggestions of crush worthy coworker, Cheryl (Kristen Wiig), Walter Mitty finds himself on an unexpected adventure.
With core messages encouraging us to believe in ourselves and not to forget who we are, Stiller offers up some serious perspectives amidst the his usual comedy routines.
Wiig makes for the perfect low key office crush, she exudes an understated sex appeal, she’s the hot friend you want to sleep with and stay up talking to all night.
I doubt an eHarmony-like representative is going to hound a person with phone calls until they complete their profile.
So artistically poised, the cinematography makes it feel like you are walking through a high end photography exhibit in motion. From the light moments at the office with the humdrum atmosphere to Mitty’s outlandish imagined action sequences the audio quality never ceases to amaze. He was a believable loser with a big imagination, but with enough courage to transform when it mattered most. These stunning images will make you want to break out the passport and globe trot for yourself.
Too timid to ask his office crush out, he instead signs up for the same dating service she’s on, hoping she notices. He travels the world in search of Sean O’Connell, the spacey freedom loving artistic photographer played by Sean Penn. I prefer Stiller in his more serious moments, but admire his flexibility as an actor dashing between the farcical and earnest points.

Maher is the type of guy who thinks about these people, Mitty especially, long after his shift is over. From Iceland to Greenland, cold blue oceans, ice covered mountains, and a park in NYC this is the kind of tantalizing imagery that makes you yearn for more. With the clacking of the wheels on the pavement and the sound of the wind blowing right by my ears it sounded like I was right there with Mitty, skateboarding down a lengthy two lane highway with lava rocks tied to his hands. I thought Penn was remarkable as the globetrotting nomad, though he doesn’t spend a lot of time on screen he makes a big impression. Fantastic depth of field with seamless transitions from indoor to outdoor sequences the finer details are always on full display. Attacked by a shark shortly after jumping out of a helicopter, was not only compelling both visually and audibly. If there is any gripe at all, it would be with some of the CGI, but even so it would be the slightest of gripes. Thankfully, the latter half of the movie held Stiller’s quirky sense of comedy at bay for slightly more serious fare.
Overall a stunning feature that would be a shame to watch in anything less than high definition.

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