Despite the movie having a big heart and a captivating performance by Tom Hanks, A MAN CALLED OTTO is way too familiar to separate as something audiences should seek out this Christmas season. Even more disappointing is that the movie feels so small. Not in the sense of independent cinema character study, but more in the “this should go directly to streaming” instead of having a theatrical release.
Circling back to Tom Hanks. Let’s be honest here. We wouldn’t be watching OTTO if he wasn’t in it. Although it’s fun seeing him go against his everyday likable persona to play a grump, it’s not enough to carry a two-hour feature film.
The supporting cast of characters is built around a sitcom vibe. And it’s a shame because that sitcom vibe conflicts with the complex suicide themes sprinkled throughout the film. I wanted to feel the tonal shift of suicide and community, but I was sidetracked by cartoon characters that are more well-suited for a farce.
Look, this is a bad movie. It’s a remake that probably didn’t need to get remade. Yet, I can’t give it a thumbs down because I genuinely got sucked into the heartwarming tale. And more importantly, Tom Hanks. I’ve seen a lot of bad movies in my life. Yet, they are all made watchable with Tom Hanks.
A MAN CALLED OTTO open on December 30th in LA and NY.