This is the kind of film that Academy Award members just love: a powerful, heartfelt story about the relationship between two kids. Max (Elden Henson) is a shy, 13 year-old slow learner trapped in a big kid’s body. and is constantly persecuted by local bullies as a result. Kevin (Kieran Culkin) is an extroverted genius plagued by a rare bone disease that hampers his mobility. Their mutual estrangement draws the two boys together as their respective strengths cancel out their individual weaknesses. The film explores their complex, emotional relationship and their various (mis)adventures. Despite the rather stellar supporting cast that features the likes of Sharon Stone, Gillian Anderson, Harry Dean Stanton, and Gena Rowlands, the real stars of The Mighty are the two kids — Elden Hensen and Kieran Culkin. For child actors they express an incredible range of emotions. Their relationship is very believable, despite Chelsom’s awkward parallels to their medieval fantasy life which resembles a clumsy version of the stunning fantasy sequences in Heavenly Creatures (1994). It’s the one glaring weak point in an otherwise moving story about the powerful bond of friendship and its ability to transcend anything.

Posted on September 28, 1998 in Reviews by

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