I went back and forth a little when finalizing my review for this indie feature. In the end, any film that can tug a little bit on those proverbial heart-strings, deserves the higher rating considered - no matter any minor flaws. That's just it ladies and gents. "A Wish For Giants" is one of those feel good films that actually do the trick. So as I ramble on about some technical flaws further down this page, keep an open mind because this really is a good film. What's not to love? Maybe the fact that a little girl, Roxie, has a terminal illness. Maybe it's the self obsessed a-hole Derrick, who has motives in the film that are far less than admirable. Perhaps it's a potentially, but quite likely, abusive father. All of these things "could" equal a sad, somber film. However, when tempered properly, they simply add some drama to a heartfelt story. A story of a sick little girl with an impossible wish, and the woman Sophie, attempting to do the impossible by granting it. What would you do if the dying wish of a child was to meet Bigfoot? Try and talk her out of it? Try and put on an amazing show? Or simply have faith that one way or another... things will work out. Courage over fear. Hope and faith against what is surely an impossible dream. Just ask Sophie who is not only tasked with granting this far fetched wish... but needs to. This is a film about spirit - and like Roxie herself... this movie oozes it. From the novel of the same name from author Aaron Dunbar, "A Wish For Giants" is much more than the sum of it's parts. There's something here. Something uplifting and yes, even sad. A film that will leave you hopeful... in spite of the inevitable off-screen conclusion.
With a grain of salt freely handed, "A Wish For Giants" was not the perfect production. By no means is it horrible to look at however. As far as low budget indie movies go, the good far outweighs some of the technical limitations. For instance... the general grade of the film was a tad unsettling. You could clearly see where the colorist adjusted skin tones, by way of splotchy... grainy orange skin highlights throughout the entire film. On one hand, the effort paid off. The general grade was cohesive. Mission accomplished. And yet, slightly bringing down the overall saturation would have helped so very much. Less color in those dreaded highlights equals less to try and correct. I also personally feel a slightly duller film would have much better matched the story. There's something a little bit creepy about referencing a dying little girl... as the super saturated orange tones scream excitement. And how about the unfortunate Roxie and her wish granter Sophie? Mostly, Alexa Mechling (Roxie) and Naysa Altmeyer (Sophie) bring home the goods and present these characters in a real, believable way. As does Connor McClain as the deplorable Derrick... who by the end of the film actually ends up a little more likable. Or maybe just a person to slightly pity. Yet things are not perfect in the performance areas either. "A Wish For Giants" has it's fair share of awkward sounding dialog and hollow deliveries. Let me tell you however, that the good scenes are great. Like a switch was being pushed and everything came out exactly the way it should have. Those scenes and moments are the reason you keep watching. Trust me when I write that you'll know what I mean. The supporting cast? Essentially the same - hit and miss. Never enough to make you want to hit the stop button, but frequent enough to notice.
When it's all said and done, as I mentioned above, the good far outweighs the bad. This was a touching film. Also keep in mind this is coming from a dude who loves action and horror flicks! If "A Wish For Giants" was enough to get my emotional juices flowing, I have no doubt that so many people are going to be questioning my rating... demanding a raise. But a three and a half star rating for a film with such a small budget is a massive accomplishment. For the casual viewer however, let me just write this. "A Wish For Giants" is one of those movies you won't think much of... until you plant yourself in front of a screen and watch it. This is a film that will entertain straight through until the credits. Say what you will about any technical limitations... two simple truths remain. This was a good story. This was a good movie. Period.