Hypnotic Review: Can Someone Please Wake Ben Affleck Up In Robert Rodriguez’s Inception Rip-Off?
Plus: 100-word reviews of Jennifer Lopez's actioner The Mother and the Thai horror Home for Rent.
Starring Ben Affleck, Alice Braga, Willian Fichtner, Jackie Earle Haley
Directed by Robert Rodriguez
Affleck gives a sleep-walking performance as a cop on the trail of a ‘hypnotic’ (Fichtner) — someone gifted with the power to manipulate minds a la Kilgrave in Jessica Jones — who’s linked to his daughter’s abduction. The wannabe franchise starter (end-credits stinger alert!) is a Frankenstein’s monster assembled from ideas lifted from Inception, Memento and even Affleck’s own Paycheck. But the combo is low-yield, missing the chutzpah that defined director Robert Rodriguez’s earlier works (Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn). No siree, Hypnotic feels like the unwieldy work of a novice, someone who’s either phoning it in or, worse, hypnotised. Wake up! — (2/5 stars) in cinemas now
Photos: Encore Films
The Mother (M18)
Starring Jennifer Lopez, Joseph Fiennes, Omari Hardwick, Gael Garcia Bernal, Lucy Paez
Directed by Nik Caro
Lopez is one mean mother in this otherwise standard-issue Netflix action flick: star-driven, under-powered, and instantly forgettable. JLo stars as a sniper-turned-informant forced out of hiding when bad guys (Fiennes and Bernal underused as villains) try to get back at her for ratting them out to the Feds — by targeting the daughter (Lucy Paez, super-annoying) she gave up for adoption. Phew! Make no mistake, Lopez can do badass (remember Enough?) but the by-the-number action sequences, schmaltzy moments and infuriating plot turns (the offspring picks the worst time to disobey mummy) get in her way. The Long Kiss Goodnight, this isn’t. (2.5/5 stars) on Netflix
Photo: Eric Milner/Netflix
Home For Rent (NC16)
Starring Sukollawat Kanarot, Nittha Jirayungyurn
Directed by Sophon Sakdaphisit
The phrase “Tenants from Hell” takes on a literal meaning in this Thai scream-fest when a married couple (Kanarot and Jirayungyurn) unknowingly lease their house to a black magic cult. Helmer Sophon Sakdaphisit’s been down the stigmatised-property nightmare alley before with 2011’s Laddaland, but this time he’s more assured and focused on telling what is essentially a tale of parental grief — by way of Pet Sematary, Annabelle and Rosemary’s Baby — sprinkled with solid boos as well as maddening silly moments that’ll invoke your inner Roy Kent. For f***k’s sake, lady, can’t you go snooping around during the day?!. Just saying. (3/5 stars) in cinemas now
Photo: Golden Village Pictures