For those of you out there that do not know what a “star vehicle” is, a “star vehicle” is a movie that is basically made to fit a specific actor. For example, any movie starring Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler, or Ben Stiller. Basically, a “star vehicle” is a movie set up to allow a specific actor to do what they do best, and in the case of these guys, their “star vehicles” allow them to make complete asses out of themselves in order to make you laugh. You will probably never see the likes of Schneider, Sandler, or Stiller starring in a big box office production of Hamlet, it’s just not what these guys do. Well, The New Daughter is basically just a Kevin Costner “star vehicle”.
Kevin Coster only has two speeds; boring and boring. Even in Dances with Wolves there were times where I wanted to pull my eye lashes out from the sheer boredom of watching Costner brood. Seriously folks, if you have a script that is in dire need of a boring male role that will lose his wife / girlfriend / child, and then after brooding about it for 30 minutes, find a new wife / girlfriend / child to protect from *insert random threat here*, then Kevin Costner is your man.
In The New Daughter, after being left by his wife *yawn*, John James (Costner) moves his teenage daughter Louisa (Ivana Baquero of Pan’s Labyrinth), and young son Sam (Gattlin Griffith) out to the middle of nowhere in South Carolina. Louisa becomes all too interested in a giant mound of dirt on the grounds of the new property that seems to be the epicenter of her new strange behavior.
Baquero’s acting ability almost saves this film from wrist-slicing suicide, but the script is what it is. Coster is a predictable snore-fest and the redundant lines they gave to little Griffith makes you want to give him up for adoption. The story, however, is not the worst I have ever seen and the big-bad is definitely original, but this film needed much, much more. The New Daughter entertained me so I guess it did it’s job, but I long for the day when Hollywood wakes up and realizes that Kevin Costner is as overrated as slapping a PG-13 on a Saturday morning cartoon.