May 25, 2024

HYPNOTIC (2023) – Formulaic thriller with mangled ending

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Rating: ⭐⭐ 1/2

Hypnotic starts off with the introduction of a detective who is struggling to come to terms with the loss of his daughter when he was looking after her in a park one afternoon. But as the story progresses, we are sucked into a convoluted plot involving people who have the ability to control the thoughts of other through some sort of advanced hypnosis technique. Sort of like having the powers of the force minus the light sabers. All these makes for a decent platform that provides a intriguing premise the lure of us wanting to know more. And director Robert Rodriguez does have a good eye for details with most of the film beautifully framed.

However, the movie begins to fall apart once it starts to unravel the mystery with one preposterous situation after another. Without spoiling the story for anyone who have not seen this yet, let’s say that the explanation over what is actually happening makes most of what transpired in the earlier part of the movie seem pretty ridiculous. I also have to comment on the choice of “costume” or “uniform” adopted by the members of the “bad guys”. Having them dressed up all in red suits and clothing in a predominantly bear white background immediately brings to mind TV’s Squid Game. I just felt this irrelevant reference to a more famous and popular show just cheapens the movie’s intentions and does nothing to provide value to the plot.

While Ben Affleck’s return to an action thriller was a welcome sight, he was mostly underutilised in a one-dimensional part. Ben also appeared fatigued and uninterested in his character, resulting in a lacklustre appearance. Overall, I thought Hypnotic to be quite compelling at first, but it lost me in the final act. The formulaic end credits teaser was just the film makers attempt to leave something open for a sequel but it merely made its ending seem even more superfluous.

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