I don't know how common amnesia is, but if Hollywood is any indication, a vigorous pat on the head could cause enough trauma to erase your memory completely. The latest film to utilize amnesia as its jumping-off point is Wrecked
, whose title pretty much sums up the content.
An unnamed man (Adrien Brody) wakes up in the front passenger's seat of a car wreck, his legs trapped under the mangled dashboard. He looks around and sees that he's in the middle of the woods and that there's a dead man in the back seat. He doesn't remember who he is or how he got there, but as he finds clues around him -- a gun, an ID for someone named Raymond, a bag of cash -- flashes of memories help him piece the puzzle together. But who is the strange woman who appears in front of him and then vanishes?
He manages to pull himself free but can't walk and can't shake the mysterious woman who shows up to haunt him. Short of food and water, he must find help while avoiding the dangers of the wilderness and uncovering the mystery behind how he got there in the first place.
The End Result
Adrien Brody in 'Wrecked'.©2010 Wrecked Productions Inc.
Although amnesia thrillers are fairly standard, Wrecked
's premise is intriguing and could've made for a twisty, nail-biting one-man showcase, but it's never developed adequately and flatlines within the first 10 minutes, feeling more like an outline of a story than a fully flushed-out script. I mean, if this guy is in a car wreck, shouldn't he be only 20 or 30 yards from a road? Granted, that would make for an awfully short movie, but it would be better than sitting through 90 minutes of inertia.
Playing it up as a ghostly horror-tinged thriller could've at least given Wrecked a pulse, but as it is, it feels like a poor man's Castaway -- with a dog instead of a volleyball. There are long stretches of inactivity, with Brody going through a series of indecipherable facial expressions that amount to little. The musical score almost tricks you several times into thinking that something exciting is going on, but it never does. Only the production value and Brody's screen presence make things watchable. The mystery has few twists, and the outcome ends up being surprisingly pedestrian. Brody deserves better.
- Acting: C+ (Brody is solid but seems confused about what to do with the role.)
- Direction: D+ (Doesn't do enough to keep the viewers.)
- Script: F (An intriguing premise goes nowhere fast, with frustratingly easy fixes that go unheeded.)
- Gore/Effects: C (Little need for gore.)
- Overall: D+ (A lethargic, underdeveloped bore.)
Wrecked is directed by Michael Greenspan and is rated R by the MPAA for language and some violent content. Release date: April l, 2011 (on demand March 1, 2011).
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