The marketing of a film can be a tricky thing. Some films have to tow the line of getting you excited without giving too much away. That is the route most taken by most big budget films, that regardless if you are giving as much away as you can, audiences will still come. I choose the veil of secrecy trailer, something veiled in mystique, because I like to go into a movie and be surprised. As I watched the trailer for “The Book of Henry” it kind of kept an air of mystery on what it was about, as you were given a barrage of images, along with a fluctuating tone, the problem ended up being that right after watching the film in its entirety I still don’t know what it’s about.
Henry (Jaeden Lieberher) is one of those really smart kids. You know the kids I am talking about, the ones who do their mother’s finance and solve any problem that comes their way, you know overachievers that you mostly see in films. Henry’s mother Susan (Naomi Watts) is more like the child in their relationship, with Henry taking the lead in their household. With all the things Henry is, the one thing that is the most important is he’s a problem solver. Henry cannot let problems go unresolved and while he is wicked smart, the best thing about him is that he is just a good kid. Being a good human means that when you see someone in need, you do what you can to offer any and all assistance. When Henry sees his neighbor Christina (Maddie Ziegler) in trouble he comes up with the perfect plan to help her. When the plan gets sidetracked it is up to Susan to carry out Henry’s plan.
I went into this movie not really understanding what it was and left still with that feeling. Writer Gregg Hurwitz tries and pull on your heartstrings before heading down a different path. “The Book of Henry” starts to feel and even look like something you will see on ABC Family. The performances are fine, with Watts shinning the most. It’s the words coming out of their month that causes the problems. The writing is not good at all and it makes you wonder why the newest wonder director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) would sign on for this. I guess when you are directing a “Jurassic Park” film and its sequel and you are directing “Star Wars: Episode IX “ its good to take something that is not taxing. Trevorrow nor the actors involved can do anything to save this film as the writer proves that words are more powerful than anything else when it comes to this movie. I really am surprised this movie made it for theatrical release because it really doesn’t feel like it should have. So let me save you some time and suggest you can pass on this one. If you feel the need to watch it though, watch it in the way that it should be seen; at home and with alcohol to help numb the pain.