The ads scream New Age pap. The recombinant-parts scenario bears the unsavory whiff of cynical marketeering (think a boomer One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest meets Starman). Yet K-PAX isn't nearly as awful as it should be. Alas, director Iain Softley (The Wings of the Dove, Backbeat) works so diligently at downplaying his film's obvious antecedents and possible platitude-mongering, he forgets to plug three gaping plot holes, effectively neutering the cumulative impact of some terrific performances. The always extraordinary Jeff Bridges underplays Dr. Mark Powell, a Manhattan asylum shrink who is treating a looney-bin newbie named prot (Kevin Spacey), who claims to be from the planet K-PAX. Will prot convince Powell that K-PAX is real? Can he cure Powell's patients and sputtering marriage with his alien powers? Or is he just a nutjob with smart-DJ glasses? Thanks to Messrs. Bridges and Spacey, and Softley's low-key direction, finding out is a minor pleasure, if one already enjoyed more in the aforementioned originals.