Review: Wrecked

Adrien Brody wakes up to find himself in a car wreck at the bottom of a cliff. How did he get there? Who are his dead passengers? Does anyone really care?

Directed by: Michael Greenspan
Written by: Christopher Dodd
Starring: Adrien Brody, Caroline Dhavernas, Ryan Robbins
Released: 2010 / Genre: Drama/Thriller / Country: USA/Canada / IMDB
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Here’s what you can do to recreate all the drama and excitement generated in the opening 20 minutes of Wrecked yourself. Grab a friend and sit in silence with him in your car. If he wants to swear or groan periodically, that’s fine too, but to really achieve that true Wrecked atmosphere, your time in the car really needs to be as tedious as possible.

Wrecked stars Adrien Brody as the unnamed protagonist, whom we join as he wakes up from a car crash, unsure of his identity or that of his dead passengers, or any idea how he came to be there. When he discovers bags of money in the boot of the car his memory starts to return, but are his visions real? Wounded with a broken leg and stuck at the bottom of a cliff, it’s up to our hero to piece together the prior events and drag himself to potential rescue.

As essentially a one-man show, Wrecked can be compared to films such as Buried, Phonebooth and Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours; however unlike these exciting, compelling films, Wrecked is slow, often cliched and unfortunately, because there’s no real threat involved in our lead’s predicament, dull too.

So, without anything for him (and consequently, us) to really worry about, we have to believe in the main character’s actions and ideally, imagine we’d do the same things, if we’re to be sucked into the story. If I woke up after a car accident, with no clue what was going on and a dead man in the back seat, I wouldn’t fiddle about trying to reach a mint before searching the body. This particular genre has seen a resurgence recently and despite its structural simplicity, is very difficult to get right. Wrecked falls into the trap of playing like an extended short film, and you find yourself merely sticking it out to see the payoff. With very little dialogue, a lot of grimacing from Brody and plenty of lingering shots of the forest set, Wrecked drags like a 90-minute film of this genre shouldn’t.

Director Michael Greenspan makes good use of the forest setting, and seemed to want to make a more thoughtful and cerebral film than the script allowed. The cinematography goes someway to rescuing Wrecked, but as the film’s pacing is all off, and Brody’s performance isn’t charismatic enough to make us care what happens to him, it still doesn’t make it worth watching.

Review by Andy BoxallSee all reviews

About the Author
Rather than saying one particular film holds the position of his favourite, Andy has a list of films that “click” with him, including American Graffiti, Videodrome, Grosse Pointe Blank, Ghostbusters, American Psycho and Suspiria.

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  1. Fitz Reply

    In an age where one-man-vs-nature/time/etc films are quite good Wrecked managed to get it all wrong.

  2. DEZMOND Reply

    hey, what has happaned to Adrien Brody? I don’t remember when’s the last time he was in any kind of spotlight…

  3. Castor Reply

    Oh I remember seeing a trailer for this but it sort of came and went when it was released. It didn’t really intrigue me at the time and your review seems to confirm that feeling.

    @ Dezmond: Brody was awesome in Midnight in Paris!

  4. Andrew Reply

    I actually dug the hell out of what Brody did here, as well as the general look of the thing– but like you say that’s not enough to save it from being condemned to the realm of boredom. There’s absolutely no tension here, and the stakes never matter as a result– even though there’s clearly something on the line for Brody’s character. It’s just inert, lifeless cinema.

  5. niels Reply

    It looks like I won’t be seeing this film. It sounds like an even worse version of Buried (which I wasn’t too fond of either).
    Too bad Adrien Brody ended up in this, he could do better.

    Niels

  6. TheScarletSp1der Reply

    I am not a Brody fan at all. Castor is correct in that he was AMAZING in Midnight in Paris. but I wasn’t convinced into watching this when I first saw the trailer. Your review assures me that I made the right choice in skipping this one.

    thanks

  7. Film-Book dot Com Reply

    I sat through this movie and was completely disappointed. Not only that, I was bored.

  8. ruth Reply

    The premise sounds interesting but I saw a review on a British film magazine a while ago and it was trashed. Sounds like you agree with that review, too bad as Brody is a pretty good actor.

  9. Fitz Reply

    I had forgotten about his turn as Dali in ‘Midnight’. Maybe he can do more films like it.

  10. Aidy Reply

    This reminds me of “The Jacket,” a film that also stars Brody. Who did not know who he was, trying to regain his memory. I enjoyed watching Brody in “The Pianist.” He is a fit for the slow, romantic, melancholy roles it seems. He isn’t a good bad boy, or action star (Predators 2). Enjoyed reading your valuable opinion, so fitting you have it here for review, I was thinking about watching this film–it is now in the Netflix instant queue.

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