The Minus Man
**.5 GM
Starring: Owen Wilson, Janeane Garofalo, Mercedes Ruehl, Brian Cox, Sheryl Crow


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All this time, I thought Owen Wilson was just that one guy that was in Armageddon, and that doofus in The Haunting that got his head knocked off in the fireplace. Then I looked at the information for The Minus Man, and I saw that Owen Wilson also co-wrote Rushmore, a movie I really dug, and Bottle Rocket - and then I remembered he was the buzzcut goofball in that movie. Needless to say, I suddenly had respect for him.

The film is basically the story about a simpleton drifter named Vann (Wilson) who makes a habit of occasionally poisoning random people he comes across. He shows up in a small town and settles down there for a while, becoming a mailman and being kind and helpful to most people, while still occasionally deciding to kill others. The theme is 'ooh, look what dangers can lurk behind the seemingly normal.'

The only problem with this is that Owen Wilson really gave off a 'disturbed loner' vibe the whole time, but people kept reacting to him like he was interesting. His mouth rarely closed, hanging open like a drooling ape, and his observations were those of a guy who doesn't really understand the accepted ways to do things. I'm curious as to why, when people start dying in their town, they don't question the new guy.

I guess the point there is that you never suspect the people you know of being killfreaks. You might live in a quiet, peaceful town where Janeane Garofalo ISN'T a brilliantly funny cynic that you stand no chance with, but rather an ebullient, generally clueless postal worker who hops into the arms of the nearest mouthbreather, and you might have lived a relatively uneventful existance in said town up to this point, but you never know when that guy who shows up to get some gas for his pickup truck might also be the guy that suddenly decides your intestines would look better on the outside.

The film does have a decently creepy vibe going for it, and the performances are good. Despite my harsh words, Wilson does have a bit of affability working for him here, although not quite enough. I wasn't looking for work-the-room charm, but something with a little less oddball to it. I can't recommend it, but I can say it's something you should probably see for yourself.

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