John Travolta is definitely something of a phenomenon. In the 70s, he was a dance-happy heartthrob who won audiences over with his slick dance moves and handsome mug. He unfortunately ran out of steam in the 80s, landing roles in Looking Who’s Talking and its sequels. Things seemed to be going nowhere but then came 1994’s Pulp Fiction. Travolta’s career was suddenly revived and he began starring in a string of big budget and popular films. One such film is the 1996 fantasy/drama Phenomenon, a movie that wasn’t that popular when it came out but was a more than adequate vehicle for Travolta’s everyman character style.
On the night of his 37th birthday, George Malley (Travolta), a small town mechanic witnesses a bright flash of light in the sky. The light knocks him unconscious and when he comes to, he realizes he has genius-like intelligence and even possesss telekinetic abilities. The majority of the film is about the people in his life and the town and how his newly aquired abilities are affecting them. Another conflict arises when ominous doctors analyze George’s brain and try to find the reason behind its incredible activity.
Phenomenon is a pretty average film. The supporting actors round things out somewhat nicely. There is the always reliable Forest Whitaker who plays George’s buddy, Nate. Kyra Sedgwick plays George’s love interest, Lace but she is pretty ineffectual in her role. The real power comes in the form of the great Robert Duvall who plays George’s doctor, Doc Brunder. He is the true star here and with a mediocre story led by an okay Travolta, the title Phenomenon is a little misleading since it is anything but phenomenal.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
The bonus features for Phenomenon are almost nonexistent consisting of just a few trailers.
"Phenomenon" is on sale July 3, 2012 and is rated PG. Drama, Fantasy. Directed by Jon Turteltaub. Written by Gerald Di Pego. Starring John Travolta.