With distinct "Ghost" vibes and enough decent chills to carry the journey, 2002's DRAGONFLY is a solid vehicle for Kevin Costner.
Costner is driven emergency room doctor Joe Darrow, whose physician wife is killed in a tragic third world accident. Escaping rebels in a South American country, her Red Cross bus plummets down a cliff side, submerging into a raging river.
Costner is angry, bitter and sinks himself deeply into a 24/7 work schedule at the hospital.
When his late wife's former child cancer patients begin bringing back messages from her after near death experiences, Joe is forced to question his agnostic attitude toward the afterlife.
With a distinct 'Sixth Sense" vibe and Costner giving it his all, Director Tom Shadyac (The Nutty Professor, Ace Ventura) makes a convincing leap from comedy to drama.
Joe Morton (Terminator 2: Judgement Day) is a concerned but formidable hospital administrator, Kathy Bates (Misery) is Joe's caring next door neighbor and Susanna Thompson (Tv's NCIS and Timeless) is very good as Joe's wife Emily.
L. Scott Caldwell (Rose from TV's "Lost") steals every scene she's in as the head nurse of the Children's Oncology ward. She absolutely nails the part, as does Linda Hunt (The Year of Living Dangerously, Silverado) as a nun banned from the hospital for her study on near-death experiences. Her quiet scene with Joe in the chapel is one of the best parts of the film.
Costner owns this kind of part, serving as the every-man you root for as his world starts to fall apart.
The scenes with the young patients are creepy, as is a late night "visit" from the other side.
The last twenty minutes stretch all credibility and the good will the film builds up, all in service of a no-doubt heartfelt ending.
I liked this when I originally saw it. I FELT it having lost Kristin four years ago. The reactions to grief and longing for one last contact with a lost loved one played much more powerfully than they did the first time.
DRAGONFLY never quite soars, but occasionally takes flight with style and some goosebumps. It gets a B.