Ben Affleck goes back to basics in cop thriller Hypnotic
Before he suits up as Batman for The Flash, Ben Affleck plays a cop on the trail of a killer in Hypnotic.
His character, Danny Rourke, is tormented by the kidnapping of his daughter. His determination to continue with his job puts him on the trail of “Hypnotic” Dellrayne (William Fichtner), a person who uses an advanced form of hypnosis to make people do his bidding.
The script does its best to cram explanations into their powers, but the concept is absolute nonsense. The idea of the malevolent hypnotist coaxing anyone to do his bidding is the stuff of 50s schlock horror, and the script’s pseudoscience doesn’t make it any more convincing.
At it’s heart, it’s a cat-and-mouse thriller that requires a huge suspension of disbelief to enjoy. Robert Rodriguez, who was a forerunner of independent filmmaking in the 90s and 2000s, keeps things interesting with quick edits and tightly choregraphed action. It’s a shame the acting and dialogue doesn’t keep pace.
Given his talents as a director, it’s interesting that Affleck should make such poor choices as a star. The success of drama Air, which he directed and acted in, sits among a string of misses such as historical flop The Last Duel and ludicrous relationship thriller Deep Water.
Here, he growls his way through the films many ridiculous twists, and makes a good partnership with Alice Braga as a Hypnotic helping him. William Fichtner has played a million roles like this, but his imposing presence can’t make this any more plausible.
Don’t let the Christopher Nolan-like advertising fool you: Hypnotic is a decidedly average movie where effective thrills are let down by a shoddy script. Only those truly under Affleck’s spell need apply.