One of the things that really bugs about some of the movies that I watch and review are stories where you have to spend half of the time charging and recharging the neurons in your brain trying to figure out what the hell is going on; but if you like walking out of the theater with your head spinning, see director Danny Boyle’s “Trance.”
A gang of criminals led by Franck (Vincent Cassel) plan to rip off a multi-million dollar Francisco de Goya painting, “Witches in the Air,” from an art auction house in France. The inside man, Simon, (James McAvoy), is working at the auction with Franck and when the time for the heist arrives, things do not go as planned. A distraction is planned during auction and Simon grabs the painting for supposed security reasons. He cuts out the painting, puts it under his coat in an attempt to steal it, and then gets bonked on the head by Franck, which causes amnesia. Why Franck clobbers Simon is a mystery, but that is neither here nor there, because now Simon cannot remember where the Goya is at. After several torture treatments by Franck, one of which includes pulling Simon’s fingernails off with a pliers, Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), a hypnotherapist, is brought in to jog Simon’s memory. But Elizabeth seems to have an agenda of her own.
The story is all set up, but then things get all confusing. There are a series of scenes where you cannot tell if Simon is in a trance, or if he is not. To further muddle the plot, Elizabeth hypnotizes Franck and his gang, and now you cannot determine what anybody is doing.
I thought the movie had real promise at the beginning, but this is just another example of a movie that is supposed to be smart, but instead is confusing and stupid. Thumbs down on this one.
My Rating: 2 out 5 Headaches.