A- Sound B+ Extras B-
starring Kevin Costner, Joe Morton, Kathy Bates, Ron Rifkin
screenplay by David Seltzer and Brandon Camp & Mike Thompson
directed by Tom Shadyac
by Walter Chaw Emergency room sawbones Joe Darrow (Kevin Costner) loses his do-gooder wife Emily (Susanna Thompson) when she's killed in a rockslide in Venezuela. Soon he and his bald parrot believe that Emily has returned from the dead with a message about rainbows. I like Kevin Costner and his oeuvre. I find him to be a charming simpleton in the Gary Cooper mould. Until Dragonfly, his films never felt condescending to me, largely because Costner appears to be learning things at the same pace as his screenplay. His guileless wonder ('Can you believe we did this to the Indians? Holy smokes!') sits well with me and makes him peculiarly suited to play the traditional American hero: good-looking, witless, and dull as dishwater. Casting Costner as a doctor is a mistake: the other person he played who had an advanced degree was New Orleans DA Jim Garrison in Oliver Stone's JFK, and that character was clearly insane. Costner just doesn't have the spark of erudition necessary to convince as a serious individual with letters after his name (not unless those letters are LHP), and his performance in Dragonfly is unconvincing, joyless, and scattershot.