Powder

"Extraordinary"

Powder Review


Once in awhile, Hollywood manages to surprise me with an uncompromising film full of genuine emotion and enough to make you really think. Powder was completely unexpected: it's easily one of the best films I've seen all year.

Something of an updated, hybridized E.T., Powder is the story of an albino teenager (Sean Patrick Flanery) with strange powers of telekinesis, empathy, and the ability to channel and absorb raw energy. As Powder says, "I'm not like other people." That's putting it lightly.

His mother is struck by lightning before Powder's birth, and he is born premature, an apparent freak of nature. His redneck father will have nothing to do with him, and Powder ends up in his grandparent's basement until his teens. When Powder finally emerges from hiding, the small Texas town has no idea what to make of him, and typical of Southern paranoids, he is immediately ostracized as a social deviant.

It soon becomes apparent that Powder is more than just an extremely pale kid, as some subtle and not-so-subtle changes begin to take effect, and we find that the outcasts among us can really be the greatest of people. Powder reflects the deconstruction of all that's wrong with society, and the film manages to hammer home its messages of peace, tolerance, and the cessation of fear without ever becoming preachy.

Powder manages to take this kind of story to new and better heights than its predecessors. Powder is a recluse, but unlike Nell, we can understand and sympathize with him. Powder is the embodiment of virtue, but unlike Forrest Gump, he is not just a victim of circumstance. And Powder is imbued with supernatural ability, but unlike E.T., we can relate to his persecution on an individual level.

Powder probably deserves a dozen Academy Award nominations, especially for Flanery's jaw-dropping leading role. The makeup, which had to literally be painted on, is almost surreal, and writer/director Victor Salva (who's done virtually nothing before this) deserves my highest praise. The special effects are groundbreaking, the camerawork (shot in and around Houston) is excellent, and the supporting cast of Jeff Goldblum, Mary Steenburgen, and Lance Henriksen is solid.

This probably isn't a film for the brain-dead hordes of moviegoers looking for mindless eye candy. It requires a little commitment on the viewer's part, but it's well worth it. In the end, Powder is a stirring example of what to do right, not only in filmmaking, but in living one's life as well.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 111 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th October 1995

Production compaines: Hollywood Pictures, Caravan Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 47%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jessie Caldwell, as Jeremy 'Powder' Reed, as Sheriff Doug Barnum, as Donald Ripley, as Deputy Harley Duncan

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

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.