Tuesday, September 13, 2011

DVD Review: Wrecked

Wrecked **
Directed by: Michael Greenspan.
Written by: Christopher Dodd.
Starring: Adrien Brody (Man), Caroline Dhavernas (Woman), Ryan Robbins (George Weaver), Adrian Holmes (Man in the Woods), Jacob Blair (Park Ranger), Mark McConchie (Bank security officer).

The past two years have brought several movies about lone men trapped somewhere. There was Buried, in which Ryan Reynolds was buried underground in Iraq with only a cellphone to try and rescue him, and 127 Hours which had James Franco literally caught between a rock and a hard place with nothing but his camera to talk to. Now comes Wrecked, which has Adrian Brody waking up in a smashed car, in the middle of the woods, with two dead bodies around him, a broken leg that is impossible to walk on, and no memory on how he got there.

I think the reason why Buried and 127 Hours worked so well, and Wrecked doesn’t really work at all, has very little to do with the lead performance, and much more to do with the structure of the screenplay. It should be said that Adrian Brody gives it his all in the lead role, as he searches his fragmented brain, and the snippets of news he hears on the radio to try and figure out why he got there. He is quite good in his few scenes he gets to talk – either to a imaginary woman who appears sometimes, or to an ever faithful dog – which may be just an imaginary. But for the most part, Brody is on his own, dragging himself through the forest to try and save himself. And there’s only so long you can watch someone do that before the whole endeavor becomes tedious. Worse still, the movie plays games with the audience, with only offering snippets of radio reports and Brody’s memory to try and tell us who he is and why he is trapped in the forest. We hear about a bank robbery gone bad, and assume that he may well be one of the robbers. But the movie really doesn’t make anything clear until it’s final – and by then, I had really stopped caring.

And I find, there really is little to say beyond that. Adrian Brody is very good in his role here, but he is undone by a movie that simply is not very interesting or well written. Director Michael Greenspan does a good job with what he has, I guess, but the flaw in this movie comes at the screenwriting stage – because they never found a reason for the audience to care.

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