This misleading preview bandwagon has got to be gunned down, and it has got to happen soon. If M. Night Shyamalan is at the helm, then John Maybury must be backseat driving because the bus just made an unexpected turn for the worse.
"The Jacket" is Maybury's latest film to be released and doesn't pull off the thriller/horror movie its trailer has been ranting about. The plot is very confusing to watch and more confusing to explain, but here goes nothin'.
Adrian Brody stars as main character Jack Sparks, a veteran of the 1991 incident in Iraq who has been shipped back to the states after taking a bullet to the dome. As he is walking home, he runs into a little girl, Jackie, and her drunken mother sitting in the snow next to their car, which apparently won't start. After a little chitchat and Sparks giving his dog tags to Jackie, they go their separate directions.
Then it just gets crazy. Sparks gets picked up by some redneck who ends up shooting a cop and framing him. He then gets sentenced to time in a mental hospital, and as part of his treatment he's stuffed into a cozy morgue drawer. Pleasant sounding, isn't it?
The scenes with him in the drawer are enough to make the theater feel like a bathroom. The cool thing, however, is that when he is in the drawer he can time travel 14 years into the future. All sorts of crazy things happen in there, too. Not only does he find out he's supposed to die in three days, but he happens into Jackie again and the two of them fall into sweet, sweet love.
Brody pulls off Jack Sparks' character really well, as does Keira Knightley as Jackie and Kris Kristofferson as the doctor. The cinematography was awesome with Jack's super-quick Iraq flashbacks while he's drugged up in the drawer. The downfall is when the love story comes into play. It comes out of thin air and takes over the entire movie.
After the sweetheart sappiness started, all attention was diverted from the film and straight to the popcorn and soda. Why did Maybury have to do that? It was going so well. "The Jacket" is worth seeing for a cool idea and neat, flashy graphics and noises, but is definitely not a momentous movie by any means.
2 out of 4 ram heads