111 Min. | Comedy – Drama – Family | October 2003
IMDB Rating: 7.6
Director: Tim McCanlies
Staring: Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine, Robert Duvall
Secondhand Lions Review: Secondhand Lions tells the precious and harmless parable about a teenage boy that practically gets abandoned by his mother and left in the care of his two geezer uncles. The boy is the all-grown up Haley Joel Osment from The Sixth Sense, and the two geezers are some of the most iconic American actors who ever lift. Osment is Walter, a shy, wimpy, lanky teen who isn’t lazy as much as he is uninspired. His mother hasn’t taught him anything about being a man and she usually favors lackluster boyfriends over him. Walter arrives at his Uncle’s farm where Hub (Duvall) and Garth (Caine) greet him coldly. Walter is amazed that they lack the “essentials” for living in today’s world like a telephone and a television but quickly forgets about them when the uncles tele-story.
In Secondhand Lions, Hub and Garth tell Walter a story about how they were shanghaied in France and taken to Africa where they were forced to fight in a brutal war. Garth tells about how Hub found true love in a woman named Jasmine (Vaugier). Jasmine is forced to marry a powerful Shiek, but upon Hub rescuing her from him, a bounty is placed on his head. Following a setup, Hub and the Shiek duel and afterwards they make a deal which results in Hub and Garth becoming practically millionaires. In the present day, both men still occupy such a large amount of money that they are often the target for money hungry salesman that come by frequently looking for a quick buck. Hub and Garth’s response? Shooting warning shots at them until they leave the premises. This provides much comic relief which is welcomed rather than contrived.
Osment is illuminating, and the two uncles are enigmatic in the way they speak and act. Every boy should have the experience Walter had, but the problem stems from the fact that this story is heavily fictitious, and it’s a doubt anything like this stems outside in the world today. Secondhand Lions is some sort of a miracle. It’s a children’s movie that proves to parents that good ones still exist. The writing is great and the acting is superb. Two old pros and an up-and-coming young pro turn loose and do what they obviously love to do – tell a great story. Definite Oscar material here. Overall, Secondhand Lions is an excellent film. You’ll love it.