Tarsem (The Cell, Immortals) Singh is the director king of the “hit or miss” film syndrome. Some of his films are classics. Others are complete and utter embarrassments. His newest directorial venture is actually a bit of an enigma because it has the workings of a successful action flick, but the delivery of a poorly-edited eighties film. In a sense, it is his first “okay” movie. Not great, but definitely not unwatchable. Luckily, it has a well-cast group of actors to save it from its ridiculous and otherwise predictable script. The special effects are nothing special and the action is a bit repetitive, but a good set of acting chops from a lead and some interesting supporting characters (not to mention a great villain) can more than make up for a lackluster science fiction action thriller.
This movie is no summer blockbuster, but it sure is a fun way to kill a couple of hours. Ryan (Buried, Van Wilder) Reynolds and Ben (House of Sand and Fog, Gandhi) Kingsley deliver solid performances, although the former is in more than the latter. Victor (Alias, Argo) Garber and Natalie (End of Watch, Broken City) Martinez offer up great supporting roles as the best friend with a secret and the lover from a past life respectively. But the true shining moment in terms of acting comes in the form of Matthew (Watchmen, Stoker) Goode. He is simultaneously creepy in his delivery and understandable in his logic from the beginning of the film and all the way to its over-the-top yet never really surprising climax. All in all, there are no bad actors in this film, but the bad guy is definitely the true star, because Reynolds, though good, isn’t quite up to the task of a lead actor quite yet and Kingsley simply isn’t in enough of the film.
The awkward character motivations are masked by great human moments exchanged among the various actors in numerous impossible situations. The strange plot holes are easy to ignore because of the lack of downtime in the script. And the fact that there is absolutely no way to give this a happy ending because of the concept of both main characters sharing one body and two very different lives simply does not set itself up for one. As a very mild spoiler, which you can gather from watching the trailer for the film, there is not a happy ending. But it does have the right ending. It is a satisfying conclusion with no important questions left unanswered. And the music, which is almost a character itself, plays a vital role throughout the last twenty-or-so minutes. Manipulative but emotional, the actors and the music make this a movie that the audience will forgive and enjoy.