Well, this has got to be the most disappointing Robin Williams movies I have ever seen. The opening scene of the film is pitch black, and all that you hear is a loud male and a female voice coming out of nothingness. The voices argue with one another for a while, and the woman finally says ... "In the beginning, there was a story, that wanted to be written." Then, she changes her mind, and simply starts out with the word "Once." The film finally opens on a sandy beach with waves splashing on the shores. Robin Williams comes on the scene in modern-day clothes, and he tries to build a fire. By now, I was totally confused, wondering exactly why the people were arguing and what was the point of her telling us that there was once a story that wanted to be written.
From there, the woman's omniscient voice comes out again, and the scene changes to a sort of tropical island location. Once again, Robin Williams comes on the scene, but this time he has a beard and is in a bear-skin caveman get-up. He lives in a cave with a wife and some children. All of a sudden, some men in boats (no, not men in tights!) come and decide to take Robin's wife and children. Robin puts up a pretty lame fight, and the Viking-like warrior men take his family and leave him alone on the island.
Once again, a majestic voice from beyond decides to change the scene and we end up in another time. I really just wanted to get up and leave. The only thing that kept me in my chair, was that I knew that I wouldn't get my money back. So, I stuck around and decided to give Robin the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the movie would get exciting, or at least mildly interesting.
Well, I was wrong ... and the scenes just kept changing every 25 minutes or so, not connecting at all. Throughout the film, Robin played a caveman, a slave, a peasant, a conquistador, and eventually ended with a modern-day scene where Robin is involved in a divorce and loses his wife and children once again.
I tried as hard as I could to find some sort of spiritual or intellectual lesson depicted in this film, but all I ended up with a headache.
This film was a flop, and Robin Williams is going to have to make his next film spectacular, or he may lose his faithful audience. I know that he's going to have to win me back, for I was ashamed even to have been sitting in the audience. If you really want to see Williams at his prime, rent the films Mrs. Doubtfire or Good Morning Vietnam. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed, and you won't need two aspirins at the end. .
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.