Review of WELCOME TO MARWEN – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 56 mins. 

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WELCOME TO MARWEN – Rated PG-13 – 1 hr. 56 mins. 

DIRECTED BY:  Robert Zemeckis

WRITTEN BY:  Caroline Thompson & Robert Zemeckis 

STARRING:  Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Elza Gonzalez, Diane Kruger, Janelle Monae, Gwendoline Christie, Merritt Wever, Leslie Zemeckis, Slobhan Williams, and Stefanie von Pfetten 

Based on the real-life story, and brutal beating of Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell), WELCOME TO MARWEN delves into the therapeutic existence that Mark has created, not only in this film, but in real-life too, thus providing a creative outlet for his artistic soul, which also serves as an escape from dealing with the harsh realities he must face daily…

I give WELCOME TO MARWEN a rating of WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON NETFLIX or STREAMING:  Although I adore Carell, and his previous work in such films as THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN (2005), DESPICABLE ME (2010), CRAZY STUPID LOVE (2011), THE BIG SHORT (2015) and LAST FLAG FLYING (2017), WELCOME TO MARWEN just didn’t resonate as much with me as some of his previous films when it was all said and done.  It saddens me to say this, as he really puts his heart and soul into this real-life role, but it just missed its mark on being as moving and memorable as I wished it would have been.  Zemeckis’s concept for this film is totally “out of the box”, so he deserves kudos for that, and I did enjoy the fantasy components intermingled with the real-life storyline throughout too.  Plus, the fact that what was playing out on screen was a true story, was rather intriguing to say the least, but there were too many times that this film either drug on, or didn’t hit the dramatic stride it was hoping to, giving it a rather lackluster feel.  I also felt like that the storyline left some gaping holes in character development, which should never happen when you are dealing with real-life scenarios, and circumstances, especially with as many characters as there were throughout this film.  But with that said, I did very much enjoy the way that the women in his life were his salvation from what ailed him, I just wish that the real-life women throughout, would have been giving more gritty and intense material to work with…other than killing Nazi’s.  All in all, WELCOME TO MARWEN ended up being not nearly as cheesy as I was anticipating from the trailer, and it isn’t bad to experience it either, it’s just not “Rush out the theater this weekend to see” material, leaving me to suggest that you head out to catch Mary Poppins Returns or Aquaman this weekend, and wait to experience this very quirky, unconventional, yet real-life tale when it finally pops on Netflix or another streaming service…

Kathy Kaiser