Reviewed by: Dave Rettig
“Good Will Hunting” is the tale of Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a stereotypical slacker with an extraordinary talent for math. Rebellious and callous, Will desires little more than his blue collar job and his beer drinking friends. When a run in with the law places him in the custody of M.I.T. professor of mathematics (Stellan Skarsgård) and under the counsel of psychologist Sean McGuire (Robin Williams), Will must face the past and discover what really matters in his life.
Written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, this movie is reminiscent of a number of the “baby buster” films of late. The audience is left with a desire for more. More history, more of the story, more of the fate of the characters. We also taste the angst of the writers reflected in the apathetic attitude and almost meaningless despair in each of the parts. The acting is very well done, the characters are believable, the story is a bit slow paced, but holds your interest for the duration of the film. It is unfortunate that we do not see more of Robin Williams comedic talent, as this may have taken some of the dark edge off the plot.
“Good Will Hunting” contains profanity, violence, sexual dialogue, and adult situations. The film is rated R, but this is a rather mild R (but definitely merited for the extensive profanity and adult situations). The overall story line is one of a man facing the consequences of his abusive past and seeking meaning in life. Will Hunting discovers that his intellect has left him empty. His friends have not fulfilled his life. Unfortunately, Will Hunting does not find meaning in Christ but in pursuing a relationship with a medical student (Minnie Driver). This film reminds me of Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV) “the more knowledge, the more grief.”
All said “Good Will Hunting” is entertaining, mildly amusing and somewhat touching. Definitely not for children. A possible choice for adults; however, I am certain that there are better choices.