Film Review: ‘Hypnotic”


  • Starring: Ben Affleck, Alice Braga
  • Directed by Robert Rodriguez
  • Rating: R
  • Running time: 1 hr 33 mins
  • Ketchup Entertainment
Mix in one part “Inception,” one part “Dr. Strange,” and two parts “Firestarter” and you will have director Robert Rodriguez’s “Hypnotic.” Headlined by Ben Affleck, who sadly doesn’t play the caped crusader, “Hypnotic” is supposed to be an action thriller with a bit of mystery. However, the first half of it feels like a small budget B-movie with a cast who are only in it to earn a paycheck or have joined the ranks of Nicolas Cage and play in movies no one sees in theaters. There is a cool twist in the story but it’s almost impossible to maintain interest by the time it arrives.
Having suffered the recent loss of his daughter in a brazen, daylight kidnapping, and the subsequent end of his marriage, Austin police detective Danny Rourke (Affleck) is undergoing therapy so he can return to active duty. After he is cleared, his partner Nicks (JD Pardo, “Mayans M.C.”) informs him of a tip about an upcoming bank robbery. During their surveillance, Rourke notices a man later to be known as Dellrayne (William Fichtner) and pursues him as chaos erupts all around them.
A confrontation between the reveals to Rourke that Dellrayne has some sort of hypnotic ability to make people to do whatever he wants and to bend reality itself. Convinced that Dellrayne is behind his daughter’s disappearance, Rourke enlists the aid of psychic medium Diana Cruz (Alice Braga, “I Am Legend”) who drops nuggets of info to Rourke about hypnotic abilities and the danger of Dellrayne who is allegedly the most powerful one of them all. Somehow, Rourke’s daughter is tied into it all but there are a lot of puzzle pieces Rourke must put together first.
Thankfully, “Hypnotic” is only 93 minutes long. The first half lacks intrigue, suspense or much in the way of entertainment value. It does contain cliches, stiff dialogue delivery, and uninteresting characters. Rodriguez waits way too long to introduce his twist, which is unfortunate because the film might have been much better if he had devoted more time to the story’s real secrets.
Affleck is serviceable in his role but gives off the appearance of someone just going through the motions. Worse still, he lacks any chemistry with Braga. Fichtner is okay as the villain although his character is poorly developed.
Overall, “Hypnotic” may hypnotize you into going to sleep.
“Hypnotic” receives one-and-a-half stars out of five.

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