The Bumblebee Flies Anyway

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Drama, Science Fiction

Is this a lighthearted teen coming-of-age story, or an eerie science-fiction nightmare about wayward medical ethics? In a baffling attempt to create an upbeat story about a group of spunky terminally ill kids voluntarily submitting to medical experiments worthy of concentration-camp doctors, this film exhibits the worst aspects of both genres. Barney Snow...read more

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Reviewed by Rachel Liebling
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Is this a lighthearted teen coming-of-age story, or an eerie science-fiction nightmare about wayward medical ethics? In a baffling attempt to create an upbeat story about a group of spunky terminally ill kids voluntarily submitting to medical experiments worthy of concentration-camp doctors, this film exhibits the worst aspects of both genres. Barney Snow (Elijah Wood) is an exception among the terminally ill crowd: He’s only got a bad case of total amnesia, the result of a head-on car crash. Dr. Marie Harriman (Janeane Garofalo) just might have the remedy for his empty noggin. But as the only living boy among the walking dead, she makes him promise (in painfully stilted dialogue) to "remain detached" from the other patients in order for his treatment to be a success. And herein lies the conflict: Can a tender-hearted boy trapped in an utterly sterile environment, aching from the loss of all family and comfort, remain uncaring as his near-death — though fun-loving — pals undergo one gruesome procedure after another, all in the name of scientific advancement? I think not. Fortunately for Barney, return to the outside world becomes a possibility as he slowly gathers up the shards of his missing past. The title alludes to the ironic adage that though by all scientific rights bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly, they go ahead and do so anyway.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Is this a lighthearted teen coming-of-age story, or an eerie science-fiction nightmare about wayward medical ethics? In a baffling attempt to create an upbeat story about a group of spunky terminally ill kids voluntarily submitting to medical experiments w… (more)

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