K-Pax (12)

Review by Simon Bell

TOP astronomical scientist Dr Chakraborty states that Prot (extra-terrestrial Kevin Spacey) can see ultra-violet light, in the astounding range of 300 to 400 Angstroms. This is incorrect and should, in fact, be 300 to 400 nanometers (or 3,000 to 4,000 Angstroms). The range stated of 300 to 400 Angstroms would be in the extreme ultra-violet near the edge of the X-ray spectrum... Not what the doctor ordered at all.

A minor factual corrigendum to some maybe, but for those subjecting themselves to this two hours of nonsensical prolixity, it's either that or 'Guess the Next Revel Out the Bag'.

It begins with our central character picked up in New York's Grand Central Station after appearing from a shard of heavenly light (or seeming to), coming to the aid of a mugging victim and finally being arrested for having no ID.

Localised in a public psychiatric hospital by men in white coats who don't know what to make of this supposed but undiagnosable mental invalid, Prot protests he's from distant planet K-Pax, a place not concerned with or complicated by such unnecessary piffle as family or light or dogs or something.

Failing to respond to mammoth portions of psychotropic drugs, and eating bananas with their skins on, convinces Dr Mark Powell (former Starman Jeff Bridges, trademark nice hair on full show) that Prot MUST be a loon. Or even a traveller from outer space.

Yet One More Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest then sees the shuffling enigma, head occasionally cocked in bird-like inquisitiveness, befriend his fellow patients to mesmerising and medically undefinable effect.

Director Iain Softley - the maker of Backbeat, Hackers and The Wings of The Dove - wants us to ' change the way we look at the world' and 'celebrate the possibilities'; K-Pax (contesting for the world's most dire film title with Hell Comes to Frog Town and Leprichaun In The Hood) supposes we'll think about the small things in life, the wonder and magic of our very existence... I just wondered what I was going to have for tea.

If you only see one alien movie this weekend, share your popcorn with the cute one with the glowing finger... this one's lost in Spacey.