Hypnotic is a science fiction action thriller directed by Robert Rodriguez, who co-wrote the screenplay with Max Borenstein. Rodriguez also produced, co-shot, and edited the film, while his sons Rebel and Racer Max served as composer and producer, respectively. Hypnotic was theatrically released in the United States by Ketchup Entertainment. The trailers for Hypnotic sold me on the film, as I am a big science fiction fan. I liked the movie but it felt a lot like the 2010 film, “Inception” only with a different twist. See my comments at the end of this review.
Hypnotic opens with Danny Rourke (Ben Affleck), an Austin Police Department detective, in session with his therapist (Nikki Dixon). He talks about the abduction of his seven-year-old daughter, Minnie that led to the dissolution of his marriage. Danny is looking for a sign-off so he can return to active duty. Danny’s partner Nicks (J. D. Pardo) informs him they have received an anonymous tip that a safe deposit box at a nearby bank will be robbed. At the stakeout, they witness a mysterious man give unheard instructions to civilians, bank employees, and fellow police, who seemingly follow his commands as he enters the bank. Rourke races him to the targeted safe deposit box, finding a picture of his daughter Minnie with a message written across it. Rourke pursues the man to a rooftop and witnesses him command two police officers to shoot each other before he escapes by jumping off the rooftop. However, there was no evidence of a body found below.
This was a pretty intriguing opening to a profound idea that certainly will keep you guessing. The mysterious man Dellrayne (William Fichtner) will appear throughout the film leading to more suspense and intrigue. It’s obvious by now that Rourke’s daughter has been kidnaped and the drama has caused his marriage to dissolve. Rourke is still trying to find Minnie as more and more bazaar events are taking place. Forensics leads Rourke to a fortuneteller Diana Cruz (Alice Braga) who compounds the events of this story even more. The audience will soon learn that all of this has to do with a secretive government “Division” to control people’s minds. Is this true or is Rourke being set up? At this point, the plot sounds a whole lot like the 2010 movie “Inception”. The acting was very convincing as was the story. While I waited for an exploding end to this film, I got a plot twist that was not a wow! For those seeing this kind of story for the first time, this might seem the “be all” but for those who are avid moviegoers like myself, you might say “been there”. I think Hypnotics is worth the watch and is also a decent story but is rather violent. To find out how good it is or isn’t you’ll have to see it in theaters — Check It Out!
Released alongside Book Club: The Next Chapter, Hypnotic made $940,000 from 2,118 theaters on its first day. It went on to debut at $2.4 million.
Note: It was the worst opening weekend of both Rodriguez and Affleck’s careers, and was blamed in part on the very little marketing done by the studio.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 37% of 76 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 4.7/10. The website’s consensus reads: “Although Hypnotic isn’t without glimmers of inspiration, the ultimate effect of this often clunky crime caper will be to leave you feeling rather sleepy.”