I want to start this off by saying I am a big fan of 127 Hours and enjoyed the movie Buried. Both of these movies and Wrecked at first glance shared some similar themes which led to a number of comparisons. All three movies starred popular male leads in very unfortunate situations that required sacrifices in different ways to survive. For me, that was about all these movies generally had in common. If I had to rank them the order would go, 127 Hours, Buried, and Wrecked. Let’s take a little time to see why Wrecked sunk to the bottom of this list.
The movie opens with a man, our main man Adrien Brody, waking up trapped with a dead guy in a smashed car far off the road. A number of people would say I just covered the most important parts of this movie in one sentence but we have 85 more minutes to fill so let’s move on. So it seems he was involved in a botched bank robbery that led to the death of a security guard, which he learns via the radio that works fine while the horn does not.
Overall this is an ok movie that is held up by Adrien Brody and his acting abilities. If a different less notable actor had played the lead I do not think this film would have seen half the press it did. I believe the budget was spot on and will not blame the films shortcomings on that. I mean really, we had a busted old car and some wooded areas.
The pace of this movie is almost crippling at times. I found myself checking my smart phone a few more times then I usually do while taking in a movie. I can only wonder if this pace was because of the film starting as a “free-writing” experiment which had no outline, plan, or idea of where things were headed. This always bugs me because any good movie usually knows what it wants to accomplish before anything even hits paper or filing begins. This seemed too much like a movie made for the sake of making a movie.
The first and last thirty minutes of this movie seemed to work and flow along decently enough. I actually found myself enjoying the different thoughts racing through my mind as to why our character was in this predicament. I have to wonder why we decided to go with a feature-length film when this probably could have done better as a “short”. If I would have had to watch another boring filler scene of our main character crawling in the woods or looking out into the wild, I would have shot someone. Thank god for Netflix allowing us to fast forward streaming content or this one would have went unfinished.
My mom is going to kill me!
There were some points that really took away my feeling of dread or emotional attachment to Adrien’s character. So how is it a car that had three people in it before it crashed does not have a cell phone? I found that really hard to believe in this day and age. I mean come on, cell phones are almost obsolete, as everyone carries a smart phone now. So you are trapped in the front seat of an old sedan? Pinned against the dash, you say? So why not try to use the adjustment lever below the seat to move yourself back and maybe escaping? It is these little things that leave me feeling like things were not well thought out when some of these scenes were shot. Yes, I know this was a low budget film and this was the director’s first feature but still you need have a better eye for detail.
Who has a problem with footage of the woods?
I had a very hard time deciphering the hallucination scenes as to what was real and what was not. This led to me trying to figure out what was meant to be part of the plot and what was not. At times this seemed to confuse or muddle the plot. When things get too confusing I tend to focus less on a film and we all know that does not lead to a positive overall view on a piece of work. These types of movies require a very careful hand when writing because you are telling a story backwards while moving the plot and characters forward. If you try too much (I.E. these hallucinations) without establishing reasoning or a point in a scene it just does not work and will leave the audience scratching their heads. Memento is the last movie I can think of that did this but at least there was dialog to help the viewer try and make sense of the plot and characters.
If you liked 127 Hours or Buried you might enjoy this film at the excellent price of free (via Netflix streaming). I think it’s safe to say we have ran the “man gets in unfortunate situation and must struggle to survive ” river dry at this point. You might benefit from watching these three movies in reverse order like how this story is told. At least then you would be ending on a high note where as I ended with this and an almost killed six pack.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: any time you see a panning shot of the forest.
Chug a Beer: any time a bug is eaten.
Drink a Shot: any time you ask yourself if that was a dream or real.