You’re feeling sleepy

While investigating a bank heist, a police detective (Ben Affleck) comes across a mysterious man who can control minds through hypnotism and who may have a clue to the whereabouts of the detective’s missing daughter. The cop gradually learns that nothing is what it seems, indeed often not even real, like in, you know, a ripoff of The Matrix.

Let’s just say it. Affleck is not a great actor. Good-looking but wooden, his acting filmography includes such clunkers as Armageddon, Daredevil, Pearl Harbor and of course Gigli. But he does rather better behind the camera, having garnered two producing/directing/writing Oscars, including Best Picture for Argo. 

So why does he still act? And in such bad movies? With his Hollywood clout it’s a mystery that he doesn’t choose better scripts for his flaccid thespian efforts. Now, a traditional, Agatha Christie-type mystery is one that presents the reader/viewer with all the clues necessary to figure out through pure ratiocination who done it.  

A mystery that fails to do this and instead simply changes the rules of reality with each scene, like this one, is not a mystery. We sophisticated film critics call this “jacking around the audience.” The real mystery here is that the director is Robert Rodriguez. This joyless, pointlessly complicated mess is not a natural fit for the guy that gave us Sin City, Spy Kids, and From Dusk Till Dawn.

At the very welcome ending, the film manages to insult its audience one more time by over-explaining everything. But by that time you will have long since stopped caring. (93 min)

Out in theatres now.