K-PAX (2001) starring Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack, Alfre Woodard, David Patrick Kelly, Saul Williams, Peter Gerety directed by Iain Softley Movie Review

K-PAX (2001)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Kevin Spacey in K-PAX (2001)

From Another Spacey

After an incident at a train station a man by the name of prot is taken to the Psychiatric Institute of Manhattan where he is seen by Dr. Mark Powell. Prot tells Mark that he is from the planet K-PAX which is about 1,000 light years away which leads Mark to think he has just another delusional on his hand but one with an incredible knowledge which makes him seem so convincing. But as time passes prot's influence on the other patients at the institute is amazing as he helps them but they are convinced that on the 27th July prot will take one of them with him back to K-PAX causing Mark some concern and leading him to use hypnotic regression on Mark to try and see if the date is significant and will unlock who prot is.

"K-PAX" is a movie which consists of three things and the first of those is the "is he or isn't he" element. By that I am on about whether prot is a K-PAXIAN or whether he is just delusional and exceptionally convincing. And that is the thing as prot is such an interesting and believable character you almost want him to be a K-PAXIAN rather than someone who is delusional. From his gentle spirit to his knowledge he is likeable and that draws us in. But watching his influence on people from Mark to other patients is an uplifting, heart warming aspect which makes us champion him even more.

Jeff Bridges in K-PAX (2001)

That leads me to the acting and Kevin Spacey is fantastic as prot giving him a sense of knowing but makes him believable even in a scene where he eats a banana, skin as well. But it is not just Spacey who makes the movie as Bridges is also in fine form as Mark and there is this beautiful balance going on between the actors, a chemistry which draws you in to their conversations. This is the sort of movie which comes along once in a while where you almost ignore what is going on and just sit back and enjoy actors who are in tune with each other and feed off of each others reactions and responses.

And then there is the deeper context and I am not going to go into this in detail but we also see Mark's home life, his estrangement from a son and his workaholic nature. But this is not the movies focus, it is just there to bring some variation to the story although connects to it nicely and doesn't feel out of place. Having said that this side of the movie has the most flaws and in some ways holds "K-PAX" from being great.

What this all boils down to is that "K-PAX" is a movie with a interesting story, interesting characters and a lot of good performances. But whilst the story draws you in it is very much an actor's movie and if you prefer action and big drama then it may not be for you.