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Wrecked

Adrien Brody wishes he had James Franco’s ingenuity in Wrecked. [Photo: IFC Films]

Wrecked 1 out of 4

star1-0

A hollow genre variation on 127 Hours, Wrecked opens with an anonymous man (Adrien Brody) awakening to find himself in a smashed car at the bottom of a forest ravine, his right leg pinned underneath the glove compartment box. Woozy and bloody, he has no recollection of his identity or circumstances, though the hard-case appearance of two nearby corpses (the driver thrown from the car, another in the back), as well as the gun underneath the front seat, seem to indicate a getaway-gone-awry.

Director Michael Greenspan's film, written by Christopher Dodd, is a largely dialogue-free affair, fixating on the tormented solitary condition of its nameless protagonist. Yet from the outset, there's virtually no suspense, since this stranded scenario seems far from fatal, an impression confirmed by the man's ability to collect and drink rainwater, his apparent lack of dire hunger pains, and the transparently phony threat of a nearby mountain lion that intermittently appears to snack on his dead compatriots. Unlike both Danny Boyle's film and Buried, there's no imminent race-against-time threat for survival or need for insanely drastic measures (the man's procurement of a glass shard proves an amputation-solution fake-out), merely an extreme situation that, with some levelheaded planning, seems manageable.

Whereas unrelenting claustrophobia might have eventually generated tension, Wrecked—spoilers herein—eventually has its subject escape confinement and, with a makeshift splint constructed for his busted leg, venture out into the forest, where he comes into brief contact with a nasty hunter and a dog who resembles his childhood pooch. That animal, like the female hiker (Caroline Dhavernas) who repeatedly appears to him in visions, is an obvious figment of his fractured imagination, and Greenspan and Dodd's material so overly suggests that they're, in fact, manifestations of deep-seated guilt that the B-movie story's inevitable, anticlimactic twisty revelation packs little punch.

A radio broadcast heard by the man also intimates that he may be a bank robber, and that the female apparition may have been a security guard he shot dead, further notions that the film lays out so bluntly that, from the get-go, it's nigh-impossible to take them seriously. Other than those mundane insinuations, however, there's nothing to the proceedings except countless scenes of Brody arduously struggling to drag his body over hills, through brush, and across roaring rivers, as well as fending off his mountain-lion pursuer. His performance is one of suitably confused, agonized expressiveness, but it's ultimately in service of a long-form acting exercise masquerading as a narrative feature.

Director(s): Michael Greenspan Screenwriter(s): Christopher Dodd Cast: Adrien Brody, Caroline Dhavernas, Ryan Robbins, Adrian Holmes, Jacob Blair Distributor: IFC Films Runtime: 91 min Rating: R Year: 2011

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