ZAC EFRON AMANDA CREWS
CHARLIE St. Cloud
What was supposed to be the next big step in the career of Zac Efron has instead set him back. Efron’s director from 17 Again Burr Steers re-teams in what should have been a dramatic summer tear jerker, but ends up more like a schmaltzy Lifetime network movie. Efron’s last film Me & Orsen Welles proved Efron could act and maneuver in a world that wasn’t filled with pristine close ups of his blue eyes. This film however takes every single chance to show off his perfectly sculpted features. Efron appears to be entering the same stage Brad Pitt did in the late 90’s, landing roles that are entirely reliant of his physical appearance.
Charlie (Efron) and Sam (Charlie Tahan) have a deep brotherly bond, but after a traffic accident breaks them apart Charlie withdraws from life. He still sees Sam, and keeps his promise to practice baseball every evening at sun down. Charlie’s dreams of becoming a champion sailor died with his little brother. Now he works at a grave yard, talking to ghosts in the woods. Tess (Crews), a friend from the past, returns to set sail around the world, but when she runs into trouble, Charlie’s sixth sense will be her only chance to be found alive.
The first problem Charlie St. Cloud has is the lack of original material, from the musical score to the Disney Channel like demeanor of the script, as you watch this film, it becomes obvious Steer and everyone else involved are completely fascinated with Efron. So fascinated, that the film does not work because he is too “pretty” to pull off this character. Never do we believe he is out there living by himself in a shack, or sailing these big expensive boats. This was a miscast from the beginning, and the only reason this film is a “summer debut” is to make an easy profit off the Efron name. While one bad film won’t hurt Efron’s career, if he wants to be taken seriously he needs to take notes from the radical change of Pitt later in his career.
The supernatural elements really hurt the film; this could have been a more dramatic story about the bond between two brothers. However, Sam dies too quick, a firm back story is never established between the boys (or their mother, played briefly by Kim Basinger). Nothing is flushed out enough for us to care, and dozens of teary eyed scenes from Charlie and Sam saying they miss each other won’t work. Sure the filming locations are beautiful, some great lighthouse shots, but as I said before, pretty doesn’t make a movie.
Final Thought – From the actors, locations, boats and sunsets everything is too pretty for its own good.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Jennifer Gih