Time: 118 mins.
When I got my Fall Movie Preview, this is one of the films that I was looking forward to seeing. You can't do much better than Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges, so I figured it would be at least entertaining. After encountering less than stellar reviews, I became a bit wary, but finally gave in. Who could resist Spacey playing a potential extraterrestrial? I was sure his performance would be worth the price of admission. I can honestly say I was pretty sure what the outcome of the film was going to be, since it's a drama and not science fiction; however, the ride to the finale is an intelligent and interesting one. Unfortunately, it goes on for entirely too long to be thoroughly enjoyable. What keeps this fairly by the numbers psychological drama engrossing, besides the acting, is the idea that Prot (Spacey), a being who looks human, is from another planet. It's a delusion shrinks probably encounter far more often than we imagine.
Though Dr. Mark Powell doesn't really believe Prot's claim to be from K-PAX, the filmmakers go out of their way to try to make the audience buy into that theory. It makes their relationship and Spacey's character all the more intriguing. He's so convincing he has Mark halfway believing his claims. It goes without saying that the other inmates on his floor become enamoured with Prot and his tales of a better existence far from their current problems. Not only does his unsubstantiated, yet highly intelligent notions get under the skin of Dr. Powell, but the advice he gives his fellow patients to cure them, has the administration in an uproar. It seems their conversations are leading nowhere, until Prot leaves a bread crumb leading to his true identity. Mark becomes desperate to uncover the mystery before it's too late to save Prot...or himself. You see, Prot found his way into Mark's life to break down his barriers and help him appreciate his life more. Mark's wife and kids have been trying to gain his attention for years, but it apparently takes a mental patient who believes he's an alien to get through to him.