The Mighty is a tale of adolescent nobility. Like so many other people my age, I was introduced to the book Freak the Mighty in my 6th grade Reading class. The book stood out for its relatable coming of age story. We were also assigned a project where we had to make a sequel to the book. Since I used to create comic books when I was younger, I made my own comic book sequel (I got an A++ for project). Of course like most school books, we watched the movie as well. The Mighty was made 5 years after the book was published. It tells the tale of two outcasts who couldn’t be more different.
Max is the narrator who’s picked on for his enormous size, low intelligence, and father in jail. Freak (Kevin) is highly intelligent, but struggles with a condition known as Morquio syndrome. Where his body is too small for his heart. They form an unlikely bond where Max benefits from Freak’s brain and Freak benefits from Max’s legs. Freak’s fascination with King Arthur gives them a greater sense of purpose. They face bullies, return belongings, and eventually deal with their problems. With an all-star cast, it’s possible The Mighty was written off as Oscar bait.
It features the likes of Harry Dean Stanton and Gena Rowlands. Along with odder choices like Gillian Anderson and Meat Loaf. James Gandolfini is pretty much proto-Tony Soprano. But it’s actually Sharon Stone who gives a surprisingly strong performance as a struggling single mother. Elden Henson fits Max’s description, but Kieran Culkin is probably too big. He also shares several similarities to at least three of his brother’s characters. He’s named Kevin (Home Alone), wears glasses (The Pagemaster), and the role will definitely make you cry (My Girl). The Mighty is an underrated gem that shouldn’t be forgotten.