MOVIE REVIEW- Mimzy whimsy: 'ET' for the green generation:

If you believe children are the future, you'll be a sucker for The Last Mimzy, a hippy-dippy sci-fi movie about a pair of youngsters recruited to save the planet. It's E.T. for the next, hopefully greener, generation; and while it's not in a class with Spielberg's film, it pushes a lot of the same buttons.

Based on a short story by Lewis Padgett, but using E.T. as a template, The Last Mimzy is set in Seattle. You should know that a lot of hippies wound up there when they started migrating north from San Francisco after the Summer of Love. It explains a lot about this movie.

In the beginning, a strangely accented flower child (Irene Snow) is telling a story to young students who surround her in a flowery meadow.  "A long time ago the soul of our planet was sick," she says. It's unclear what planet she's on (perhaps the planet Woodstock), but it was "warlike" and "dying," and one desperate scientist was trying to save it.

Flashback to Seattle and the Wilder family: David (Timothy Hutton), Jo (Joely Richardson) and their two kids, 10-year-old Noah (Chris O'Neil) and Emma (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn), who's about six. David's a workaholic, Jo's a mom, Noah's a dork, and Emma's the reincarnation of Drew Barrymore in E.T.

At their vacation beach house on Whitby Island (look's like David's workaholism paid off!), the kids find a strange box in the surf. It opens to reveal what seem like toys, but which have magical powers. A stuffed rabbit tells Emma her name is Mimzy and reveals things to the girl before they happen. Noah doodles in class and his science teacher, Larry White (Rainn Wilson) identifies one of his drawings as a 12th century mandala.

One of the toys causes half the state's power to go out for a few minutes, and the government tracks the source to the Wilder household. Still following E.T., the government assaults the family, this time in the form of Homeland Security, led by Michael Clarke Duncan.

Although no one can explain the children's knowledge and powers, including psychokinesis, no one will listen to their explanation.

Mimzy doesn't have to phone home because all communication is telepathic, but eventually she has to go home so we can find out where/when "home" is and whether her mission is accomplished.

There's nothing wrong with The Last Mimzy, but there's nothing right with it that Spielberg didn't do first and better a quarter-century ago.