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Phenomenon (1996)

Phenomenon (1996)




John Travolta

Kyra Sedgwick

Forest Whitaker

Robert Duvall

Directed by Jon Turteltaub

Here is a movie I totally forgot I loved when I saw it way back in 1996. Flipping through channels on TV and there it is, Phenomenon the fantastic Travolta film. Phenomenon’s genre falls into many categories, romance, drama, sci-fi and fantasy.

The movie does not play to the same kind of system that most movies of this range does. When we think of movies which deal with superpowers in the present decade we expect fantastic CGI and some action. This movie instead just plays to the life of a rural man who doesn’t have much aspiration. Imagine such a person developing psychokinesis when he was hit in the head by a ball of light from the sky. The movie has a fun cast and it is directed by long time Disney collaborator Jon Turteltaub although the movie was done under Disney’s Touchstone banner.

George (Travolta) as said is an average guy. He is a mechanic in a small town in California and on this memorable day we find him drunk celebrating his birthday at the local bar. He goes outside for a bit and we see light, come down fast and hits him, knocking him out. That single incident changes his life forever. He starts to get ideas and becomes psychokinetic. He also becomes a genius suffering from insomnia unable to sleep and always reading. His constant reading leads him to come up with new ideas, learn new languages, able to move items with his mind and crack secret government codes.

George has a thing for a lady in his town, Lace (Kyra Sedgwick) a single mum with two children. He does everything he can to be able to get close to her which was working initially until he discovered an earthquake was going to happen. He made the necessary calls to warn the officials, but was dismissed. When the earthquake did happen, everyone came looking for him. Soon, the government discovered that he had cracked their code and he was arrested. George’s new powers did not help him much with the people of his town, as he was seen to be a freak.

Soon the movie moved from a gentle drama to something chaotic and sad, as George’s world turns on its head.

The movie was a big financial hit, and the acting of Travolta is worth seeing. He was fantastic in the movie and so were the supporting casts. It is a pity that movies like this do not get made anymore, everyone is so interested in movies having the same Marvel or DC feel.


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