'Hypnotic' is a try-hard Christopher Nolan-esque film
Robert Rodriguez is one of the most famous action film directors who frequently portrays Hispanic lead characters in his films. Most of his films are cult classics: Desperado, Spy Kids, Sin City, Machete, and so on, which serve as nostalgia for 90s kids.
Recently, this famed director directed a film that looks like it took inspiration from Christopher Nolan's Inception or Tenet: Hypnotic, starring Ben Affleck as the lead. When a veteran action director directs a mind-boggling science fiction film, can it be a box office hit?
The core science fiction element of the film is the hypnotists, trained by a covert government organization to control people's minds. Protagonist Danny Rourke (played by Ben Affleck) is a police detective based in Austin, Texas, who lost his daughter mysteriously, and his marriage failed as a consequence. He is going through therapy and his current life until he receives a warning of an inevitable bank robbery. In his pursuit of the bank robber, he finds out about hypnotists and that his missing daughter is related to the mysterious bank robber.
Hypnotic has a plethora of plot twists, one after another. After a series of plot twists, it is revealed that Rourke also possesses hypnotic powers and that his daughter Minnie is the ultimate weapon of mind control, whom the mysterious bank robber, aka the secret organization director Lev Dellrayne, wants to capture at any cost.
Rourke and his former wife Vinnie overcame the well-crafted illusions of the secretive 'Division' agents in search of Minnie using their hypnotic abilities; will they stop Dellrayne once and for all?
The screen time of this film is only 94 minutes, which is too little time to comprehend a complex science fiction action film given that even Nolan's films are almost or over three hours long. Moreover, adding irrelevant plot twists within major plot twists makes the film too convoluted and annoying to watch.
The cast acted pretty well considering their acting calibre; Ben Affleck and Alice Braga were great as the lead Rourke couple; Jackie Earle Haley from Watchmen had a small but effective role as the former division agent Jeremiah; and William Fichtner as Dellrayne is a reminder of his famous role as the morally ambiguous detective Alexander Mahone in Prison Break.
Hypnotic would've been a great science fiction film if it had decent storytelling and meaningful plot twists. A potential sci-fi film with a hollow storyline proves that Robert Rodriguez is only quite made for some sophisticated genres than his usual action films.
Hypnotic and The Mother were released on May 12, and both might be box office bombs because of the weaknesses in their stories.