By letting Ben Stiller‘s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty speak for itself, this is a trailer that sells by way of laid-back confidence. It’s quietly persuasive. It guides you into submission. If I hadn’t seen and been somewhat disappointed in the second half of Stiller’s film, this trailer would have me fully convinced that the film is a deft and engaging sweet-spot thing. Alas, the Rotten Tomatoes guys….aahh, what do they know?

“Having outlined the details of Walter’s drab existence and the sunny delusions he uses to escape it, Walter Mitty goes from being unremarkable to contradictory: It allows its protagonist to embark on an adventure as incredulous as his daydreams, with the character launching on abrupt trips to Greenland, Iceland and eventually the wilds of ungoverned Afghanistan in an attempt to track the elusive O’Connell.” — from today’s Eric Kohn Indiewire review.

“And then Mitty, desperate to find that missing negative, suddenly decides he has to fly to Greenland (and then Iceland and then some Middle-Eastern country) to find O’Connell, and it’s here when the film loses its mind by depicting his adventures in these territories as vaguely fantasy-like…and yet they’re real-world. Mitty is suddenly a real-world guy who eats boldflakes for breakfast. I didn’t know what to think when this began to happen, but I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. And it didn’t.” — from my 10.6 review.

“Along the journey, to Greenland, Iceland and the Himalayas, we watch the formerly stiff and apprehensive Walter incredulously transform from indistinctive, unremarkable office drone to a dynamic man who is finally living out all his wildest dreams and aspirations (which also means sporting facial hair and more casual clothes). Walter finally comes alive.” — From Rodrigo Perez‘s Indiewire review.

“From skirmishes with sharks off the coast of Greenland, to flights from erupting volcanoes in Iceland, to scaling mountains in Afghanistan, Walter soon changes into the man of his imagination—which is to say, a cartoon. And so, too, does Walter Mitty thus become not a portrait of a flawed individual struggling for self-improvement and transcendence, but merely a cornball, carpe diem-ish fable of prevailing over any and all obstacles through positive thinking and a can-do attitude.” — Slant’s Nick Schager .