Phenomenon - * * *

Phenomenon is a touching tearjerker that actually has some depth. John Travolta stars as George Malley, a nice normal guy in the small town of Harmon, California. He’s the slow paced, good natured auto mechanic…friend to most in town. On his 37th birthday, he sees a strange light in the sky. It knocks him on his back, and before you know it, he’s turned into a telekinetic genius. Unfortunately for George, his newfound abilities have frightened the townsfolk. He find he only has three friends left, the town doctor (Robert Duvall), a local farmer (Forest Whitaker), and the woman he’s admired for years (Kyra Sedgewick). Travolta shines in this performance of a really nice guy, given extraordinary abilities. Duvall and Whitaker have their moments as his loyal friends, but the romance angle with Sedgewick lacks any serious sparks. Director Jon Turteltaub seems lost at times, but the script takes charge, with a couple moving speeches that actually enrich the plot and open up some new ideas. Phenomenon is an enjoyable drama that raises interesting questions about human potential and the lack of it.

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