Variety Bridge: Fantasy, romance, adventure, and family drama just to name a few genres; the film Bridge To Terabithia wants to be all of these things and then some. The only problem with the film is what's missing.
Jesse Aarons, played by Josh Hutcherson (the non-bratty brother in the film Zathura) is a sullen fifth grader with a rough and poor homelife; he's also a runner as witnessed by his running as the film starts. He's picked on by bullies, most notably by Janice Avery (Lauren Clinton). His world changes when new classmate Leslie Burke (played by AnnaSophia Robb who was deliciously bratty as Violet in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory) a girl who is smart and marches to her own beat.
When Jesse and Lisa discover a rope in the woods, which leads to "the other side" (of the woods) the two embark on an adventure with giants, sword wielding dragonflies, and a smoke monster that is eerily reminiscent of the monster on the tv show Lost. The two conjure up a whole new world in which they must save the prisoners from the Dark Master.
As Jesse gets closer to Lisa he sees that she has the kind of fun-loving, close knit family he longs for. Jesse also has a sibling (a sister in this movie, played by Bailee Madison) who just wants to be included in her brother's adventures. The movie is based on Katherine Paterson's book, a book I never read so I really didn't know what to expect. And I was quite surprised by the plot twist about three-quarters of the way through.
I kept feeling like I was missing a backstory in this movie and I had a lot of questions that just weren't answered. Questions such as: What's the story, if there is one, behind Terebithia? How in the world did Lisa come up with the name Terebithia? Why does Jesse spend so much time just staring at teacher Ms. Edmonds (played by Zooey Deschanel)? My spouse says that I was focused on the wrong things, and maybe I was, but I just felt disconnected almost as if I was watching different movies. Robert Patrick also stars as Jesse's father, Jack.
The film is deep and you may be expecting another movie. I was thinking something more along the lines of Chronicles Of Narnia crossed with Zathura or Jumanji. I didn't hate the movie, in fact I liked a lot of things about it. I think AnnaSophia Robb is an interesting young young actress who could have a big future and I like the family stuff.
Bags of popcorn (out of 5): 2.5