Trance (R)

Drama 101 April 12, 2013
The mounds of cash Inception raked in have mattered—recently we've had The Adjustment Bureau, Looper, and now Danny Boyle's Trance cooking multiplexers' noodles al dente. If rules-and-order-governed Inception is the intellectual law student at the party, and self-consciously fun The Adjustment Bureau is the dude who'll dance with anybody, Trance is the really loud guy who won't stop yelling about how 9/11 was an inside job: It's got an awfully serious delivery, but the graver it gets, the sillier it becomes. A blow that crook Simon (James McAvoy) sustains during a museum hold-up has caused him amnesia; with no clue where he stashed the painting he was stealing, his gang is left Goya-less. So criminal Franck (Vincent Cassel)-- and the director-- resort to hypnotherapy. If you've ever wanted to see a therapist sit a bunch of gangsters down and soothingly suggest, "Let's talk about killing," you’re in luck. Trance is built around set pieces in Simon's dreamlike unconscious, where endless fields of sunflowers and glimpses of a man being buried alive rank among director Boyle's most compelling conjurings. Yet his hyperactivity is a problem—heads are blown off but keep talking, characters morph into other characters. Unlike in Inception, which doled out rules and keys to understanding its dream world, Trance's is never imbued with any structure or meaning. Anything goes, which may make all this great fun for the hallucinogenically inclined, but since nothing in these sequences has any lasting consequences, the suspense is difficult to amplify.
Danny Boyle James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson, Tuppence Middleton, Sam Creed, Lee Nicholas Harris, Danny Sapani, Ben Cura, Hamza Jeetooa Joe Ahearne, John Hodge Christian Colson, Danny Boyle 20th Century Fox

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