Hypnotist, a review of the thriller by Robert Rodriguez with Ben Affleck

Among the summer film releases, he comes to us Hypnoticdirector’s psychological action thriller Robert Rodriguezin theaters July 6, 2023 thanks to 01 Distribution.
Danny Rourke (English)Ben Affleck) is a police detective in Austin, Texas whose life is turned upside down by the kidnapping of his young daughter Minnie, who disappeared when she was just a child and has not been heard from since, a drama from which even Rourke’s marriage never recovered. which led to his separation from his wife. So the detective is trying to gather his strength and focus on his work when something unexpected happens: while trying to stop a bank robbery, Danny and his team run into Lion Dellrain (William Fichtner), a mysterious and very dangerous person, because with the help of hypnosis he manages to take control of the minds of people, to the point that they force them to do his orders. After wreaking havoc and panic on the town, Dellrain flees, but the most disturbing aspect for Rourke is a clue that makes him think the man may be involved in little Minnie’s disappearance. Trying to track down the criminal, the main character meets Diana Cruz (Alice Braga), also a psychic and Dellrain’s former colleague in a secret government program; Together, Danny and Diana find themselves on the run, trying to stop the crimes and unravel the mysteries of this story.

An idea that came from afar

Rodriguez is a director known for several sometimes very successful popular films (From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin Citysaga of Spy Kids, Machete), moving from one film genre to another, from western to crime noir, from family film to sci-fi, always with a strong tendency to lean on B-movies, so often identified as a boulevard writer rather than an accidental friend, and once again Quentin’s collaborator Tarantino.
Hypnotic it was born from an old project of the director, which he conceived back in 2002, taking Hitchcock’s thrillers as a model, and which has remained unrealized since then. This is an aspect that is inspired by the final product, although the plot is devoid of specific time references, or perhaps precisely because of this: the narrative mechanism underlying the story, hypnosis and therefore psychic abilities, is a timeless theme. , not particularly associated with some technological innovation or imaginary futuristic scenarios that would inevitably become obsolete over the years. In any case, the film has an aesthetic that refers to some kind of cinema typical of the early 2000s, with its rich colors, which, perhaps in this case, would also like to hint at the hallucinatory state that accompanies the characters throughout the story.
The idea of ​​mind control, even at a distance, clearly suggests a constant potential danger precisely because you don’t know where it might come from, with the result that you can never truly trust anyone, as the characters (and the viewer too) try their best to distinguish the real from the non-existent, and the plot between revelations and twists becomes more and more intricate.

It can be said, without going into the details of the plot, so as not to reveal too much, that the script has some well-aimed and intriguing ideas, for example, when a situation we have already seen is shown to us from the other side. a sense-reversing perspective in an almost cinematic moment. At other points, the film does not stand out from a formal point of view (perhaps also due to restrictions related to filming during the Covid era), with a couple of scenes that seem to pay homage and quote matrix AND Originother films that revolve around the perception of reality, which is not always what it seems, between induced images and projections of the mind, but we are certainly very far from the innovative scope of these titles.

Often the most successful thrillers must have a script as precise as a clockwork, carefully crafted down to the smallest detail to allow it to work flawlessly, and as such, the genre can be harder to pass up than B-movies, usually more overtly tacky and less attentive to credibility. ; the risk is to get a plot that, when carefully analyzed, reveals gaps or inconsistencies, as it partially happens here, mixing a dreamy approach and very rational explanations, as well as an ending that is very off-putting from the sentimental side, with exaltation. family, but thus relieves some of the tension.

We know that as an actor, Affleck cannot count on much expressive variety, which in this case can be partly justified by the plot and the state of mind of his character, but the result is certainly not a memorable performance, while Fichtner (characteristic that we have seen so many movies and television, as Contact To Armageddon, from Jail break To intersecting lines) has just the right look to fulfill its changing role.

Hypnotic Thus, this is a thriller that allows you to watch yourself to the end to reveal all its secrets, but which does not fully know whether to take itself seriously or not, and therefore does not leave its mark. There is also a scene after the end credits, presumably as the launch of a possible sequel, perhaps a bit optimistic because the film, released domestically with little to no publicity, flopped at the box office.

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