Phenomenon (1996) / Drama-Sci Fi

MPAA Rated: PG for language and mild sensuality
Running Time: 123 min.


Cast: John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Robert Duvall, Forest Whitaker
Small role: Brent Spiner
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Screenplay: Gerald Di Pego
Review published November 10, 1996

I once read that human beings use at most 10-20% of their brains' capacity during their lifetimes. It staggers the mind to think of the capacity we have to learn and grow, yet we never seem to reach more than a fifth of our potential before we expire of old age.

 Enter George Malley (Travolta, Get Shorty), a simple farmer, who one day is overcome by a flash of light in the sky of unknown origin and purpose. Slowly but surely, much to the surprise of not only himself but also those who know him in his small hometown, George begins to exhibit a heightened sense of knowledge and awareness. He begins to lose sleep and spends his time devising new farming techniques, investigating solar power, and reading a couple of books every day.

Travolta gives a terrific and endearing portrayal of George, and the supporting cast is excellent as well, in this heart-warming and thought-provokingly original film. Jon Turteltaub (While You Were Sleeping, Instinct) delivers just the right notes at the right times and the fresh writing and ideas were quite refreshing. A truly moving, wonderful and inspirational film, which is a must see in my book. Phenomenal!.

 Qwipster's rating:

1996 Vince Leo