Bridge to Terabithia (2007) Review

Bridge to Terabithia

Release Date: February 16, 2007

Director: Gabor Csupo

Stars: Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel

Runtime: 96 min

Tagline: Discover a place that will never leave you, and a friendship that will change you forever.

Jess Aarons (Hutcherson) is a boy who feels out of place, but has a  great artsy talent. He has been training for to become the fastest runner in school, only to be beaten by Leslie Burke (Robb), the new girl in school. Soon, they find common interests and become friends. They create an imaginative kingdom of Terabithia out in the woods, that they escape to every day after school. This newfound friendship teaches him lessons that will stay with him for life.

Bridge to Terabithia is a poignant examination of a great friendship and great imagination. It is fairly slowly paced and can be boring, but it has a few great scenes.

The film is greatly thematic, including ones of imagination, denial,  acceptance and remorse. Apparently the book written by Katherine Paterson, which this was adapted from, was aimed more at a teen to young adult audience, while this is much more for children. It really is a film that can be enjoyed by kids with wicked imaginations.

Some scenes are boring and the plot is just a little silly. The visuals aren’t anything special, when they could have been great. That makes some of this feel like a real wasted opportunity. The beginning and middle act weren’t great, but the third act was emotionally poignant and pretty impressive.

It’s wickedly overacted, but it’s necessary for a film like this. Each actor’s performance is pretty great, because each one does an impressive job in making the viewer feel exactly how the character is. In this way, we can easily immerse ourselves into that often poignant atmosphere and sometimes really relate to some of the characters.

The character of Leslie Burke is nice, because she is just so imaginative and naturally real. She is someone who isn’t afraid to be herself. I also like the character of Jess and Leslie’s parents; and I liked the character of May Belle, Jess’ little sister, because she just really wanted to be included. I didn’t care for a lot of the others, though.

Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel, Robert Patrick, Bailee Madison and Lauren Clinton.

The plot can get a little ridiculous and boring, but it’s great for kids with imaginations. It is also impressive that it’s so poignant for children’s cinema. It just felt like a wasted opportunity because I didn’t like the visuals or anything.

64/100

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