New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter, an Irish burglar in his early 20’s, and Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), a young girl, who is dying.
User Reviews: Short review: give it a chance, it will eventually enchant you. But it is not an easy process
Longer review: did a lot of reviews for IMDb and cannot easily recall a film that tries so hard, has such a great cast, great cinematography, yet is constantly shooting itself in the foot.
The script is … problematic. Parts of it seem like they were written by a fifth grader. Lots of "is this really happening?" type dialog, which generally you do not ever hear in a film BECAUSE THE ONLY ONE QUALIFIED TO ASK THAT QUESTION IS THE AUDIENCE, NOT THE SCREENWRITER.
Lots of miscasting. The great Crowe, who could play a phonebook if he had to, is OK as a demon. Will Smith as the devil is another matter entirely. John Hurt has to deliver dialog so weak he must have been wincing inside. Even the beautiful Jennifer Connelly seems to have been lost in the production and is relegated to astonished glances.
Farell, no slouch as an actor, has a gift for getting lost in a role and that really helps him here. He does an OK job.
The two actors who steal their scenes are Jessica Brown Findlay, who is supposed to portray a young woman whose inner beauty lights up every scene she is in …. AND SHE DOES.
And whatever animal they borrowed from the Animal Actors Union to play the magic horse does a great job too. Hopefully they gave him extra carrots as a reward.
You really need to leave critical judgement behind if you are planning on watching this. This is for example a scene at the 1:20 mark where the continuity is so out of sync with the screenplay that Farrell has to break about 75 once sacred "film rules" and deliver a short speech which is 100% backstory, just to make sense of what is happening. Ouch!
And here is a Special Bonus for the lucky IMDb reader who got this far: if you liked this film at all, here are two films that handle the same theme in a slightly different way, and you MUST SEE THEM (no, I don’t get a commission if you do). Each rates a perfect "10":
1. The original HERE COMES MR JORDAN with Robert Montgomery
2. The more recent I ORIGINS