Good Will Hunting

"OK"

Good Will Hunting Review


Hype? Sheesh, like no other. This side of Titanic, Good Will Hunting has enjoyed some of the most baffling, gushing praise of the year. Does either film deserve it? Not really.

Let's look at the facts: You have Matt Damon as Will Hunting -- apparently the smartest man on the face of the earth who can also kick anyone's ass over breakfast, and has a history of run-ins with the law. Oh no! Affleck is his down-to-earth best bud. Driver, the hoity-toity love interest. Williams and Skarsgård as Hunting's mentors, the guys that rescue him from a prison sentence for assaulting a police officer. And it is made abundantly clear that the film is also about the class stuggle in Boston.

Now that I've typed it out, it sounds ridiculous, and the more I think about it, the more it really is. The plot and theme of Good Will Hunting hinge upon the idea that it's tough for the smartest man in the world to make the move from crumb-bum to respectable member of society. Why? Because (a) "just because he has a gift he doesn't have to use it!" and (b) he had a troubled childhood. Well, boo hoo!

The more I write, the more it sounds like a topic on "Jenny Jones": Boy Geniuses on the Wrong Side of the Tracks. Right. If any believable character had this guy's abilities, this movie would have been much different... and probably much shorter, too.

I realize I'm ranting here, but the pop psychology of Hunting reaches such a high level of annoyance so that when Williams tearfully confronts Damon with the film's signature line of -- I kid you not -- "It's not your fault," it just gets silly. And it lost me.

The script, written by Damon and Affleck, is otherwise humorous and keeps you entertained. Van Sant's direction is inexplicably amateurish and features some lousy voice dubbing. Williams is pretty good in his role, and for what it's worth, so is Damon, even though the character is ludicrous. All told, the film has plenty of enjoyable moments, but it's just not the deep experience the filmmakers want you to believe it is.

And neither was Titanic. That ought to guarantee me plenty of hate mail for the next few weeks. Fire away.

"It's not your fault you spilled paint on your clothes," says Williams in a tearful moment.



Good Will Hunting

Facts and Figures

Run time: 126 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th January 1998

Box Office Worldwide: $225.9M

Budget: $10M

Distributed by: Miramax Films

Production compaines: Miramax Films, Lawrence Bender Productions, Be Gentlemen Limited Partnership

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Fresh: 69 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 8.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Gus Van Sant Jr.

Producer:

Starring: as Will Hunting, as Sean Maguire, as Chuckie Sullivan, as Prof. Gerald Lambeau, as Skylar, as Morgan O'Mally, as Billy McBride, John Mighton as Tom, as Psychologist, Rachel Majorowski as Krystyn, Colleen McCauley as Cathy, Matt Mercier as Barbershop Quartet #1, Ralph St. George as Barbershop Quartet #2, Rob Lynds as Barbershop Quartet #3, Dan Washington as Barbershop Quartet #4, as M.I.T. Student, Derrick Bridgeman as M.I.T. Student, as M.I.T. Student, Shannon Egleson as Girl on Street, Rob Lyons as Carmine Scarpaglia, as Carmine Friend #1, Jennifer Deathe as Lydia, Scott William Winters as Clark, Philip Williams as Head Custodian, Patrick O'Donnell as Assistant Custodian / Marty, Kevin Rushton as Courtroom Guard, Jimmy Flynn as Judge Malone, Joe Cannon as Prosecutor, Ann Matacunas as Court Officer, as Hypnotist, Jessica Morton as Bunker Hill Student, Barna Moricz as Bunker Hill Student, Libby Geller as Toy Store Cashier, Chas Lawther as M.I.T. Professor, Richard Fitzpatrick as Timmy, David Eisner as Executive #3, Bruce Hunter as NSA Agent, Robert Talvano as 2nd NSA Agent, James Allodi as Security Guard

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Advertisement
Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Demolition Movie Review

Demolition Movie Review

With its darkly emotive themes and brittle humour, this well-made drama by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas...

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.