Depressing, not inspiring. My first review was lost somehow, but now I can rethink what was most important. This is a trite, shallow, slightly crass treatment of the Thurber classic, and you would expect that from Ben Stiller, whose triumphant soliloquy at the the movie's end should embarrass anyone who sees it. The movie is about the demise of Life Magazine, and how one photo, to be the cover of Life's final edition, sums up the doomed magazine's mission. The photo negative is lost, and Mitty's got to leave his safe world of daydreams to rescue it. As so often happens with Hollywood, any opportunity for a real message is squandered. Stiller's afore-mentioned speech is almost tragic in its failure to grasp even the least shred of moral significance. Rather, he tells the cold-blooded, bearded mercenaries tearing down the magazine not to be such d#@!$ about it. Roll to credits. It's an obscenity beyond any words he might have used. He fails the magazine, he fails the employees, mostly he fails the audience.
Sean Penn is colorful, but rarely seen. Shirley McClain is colorful, but rarely seen.
The "real-life adventures" are MORE absurdly improbable than his day-dreams and rely solely on plot gimmicks and inconsistencies to keep moving.