Director: Michael Greenspan
Summary: Adrien Brody stars as a man who wakes up trapped in a crashed automobile in a steep wilderness ravine, injured and clueless with no hope of rescue. As the man struggles to survive, he slowly remembers the events that put him there.
My Thoughts: "The opening scene grips you and you want to stay and finish it till the end to see just what really happened. Now usually a movie like this might come off boring and uninteresting. But that is why it takes a genius actor like Adrien Brody to pull this movie and character off. Some scenes are pretty gruesome. Especially the scenes involving the mountain lion. But the movie takes you in and out of mirages and flash backs to his life, or what he thinks was his life. Slowly his memory comes back and the real story unfolds. Not a great film, but not a horrible one either. Worth watching at least once if you get the chance."
A man trapped in a car wreck at the bottom of a ravine must overcome incredible odds to survive.
Wrecked is an interesting little low budget film that has a fairly promising premise that should attract the viewers (because the poster certainly won't). A man wakes up in a car wreck in the woods with no idea of who he is or why he got there, with his only company being that of the dead body in the seat next to him. It soon becomes apparent that help is not coming and he has to get out of the car. But once he's free, his troubles have only just begun, as he finds out that he is not alone in the woods.
There is a lot to like about this little film. Adrien Brody does a great job of displaying how painful and lonely it would be if one was trapped in this particular situation, and of course the film rests on his acting and the great imagery and camera work. The film never becomes too slow, and there is always a new little plot point or clue that leads the viewer on.
Of course one should not go into this film expecting a sordid tale of survival and battles with mountain lions. Instead, what we have is a psychological exploration, where the woods serve as the back drop for all of the character's guilts and desires, and soon we are doubting what is real and what isn't. Think of J.G. Ballard's "Concrete Island" or Stephen King's "Gerald's Game". While it is ultimately weak with a so-so story, "Wrecked" is worth watching at least once just to enjoy the work of Brody and the fluid flow of the film.
A man awakes amnesic in a wrecked car in the woods with his leg trapped in the front panel. Sooner he finds that he is in a inhospitable area with wild animals surrounding him and that there is a dead man on the back seat and another one on the land. When he listens to the news on the radio, he learns that three armed and dangerous men had heisted a bank and killed the security guard. The man finally releases his leg from the panel and finds the stolen money in the trunk; then he concludes he is the third thief. He unsuccessfully tries to find a way out of the jungle while he has flashes of recollections of his past.
Michael Greenspan's debut "Wrecked" it's an ambitious film with a good premise that has significant problems with it's identity. It tries to be both a character study and a situation study while challenging themes like "redemption", "faith", "men's natural instict" or "the fight for survival".
Adrien Brody stars as this guy who wakes up after being involved in a car accident in a forest medium. At the beginning he's confused and tries to acknowledge what happened. He sees the dead bodies of two other males, he sees himself wounded and full of scars and coagulated blood. His state of mind balances from desperation to calm. Sometimes he panics and sometimes he uses reason to think about what happened. He has a short memory loss since he can't figure out who the other guys were. He spends two days trapped in the car with an injured leg without food and water. He's suddenly visited by a young woman who brings him water and food but she disappears the same way she appeared. Now you're questioning the point of this film. Is it trying to connect two worlds? The world of the living and the world of the dead? What it wants to achieve? Well... you don't know that yet because the movie feels just wrongly constructed. You don't get a sense of the purpose of this even if you might get what's with the strange woman visiting him from the beginning because it is an element used before in films like this. Now, the appearance of a gun and the broadcast of some radio news will change things for our protagonist. He finds out that he's in fact, a criminal, a robber and that the other two men were part of his team and that they are responsible for the death of one person. Now the woman who appears constantly is obvious is the woman killed in that bank robbery. She "whispers" him that even if he'll survive and get out of that forest he won't be able to really get away with things. However, the fight for survival interferes and Adrien Brody enters into a journey of liberation accompanied by this weird "warm" and friendly dog. From this point on, if you'll not be bored yet thanks to the terrible pacing and the obviousness of the script, you will get bored because nothing spectacular will happen. This is not even a character study. We don't get to really see what our character feels, we don't get to see what's in his mind, we just see a bland and foggy image of him trying to save his life. This topic provides a multitude of legit approached that the director could have chosen yet he's obsessed with stale shots and obvious development of the situations.
I think Michael Greenspan is a fan of Tarkovskiy. I'm saying this because a lot of those shots, a lot of the mixed fix landscapes and suspenseful music reminded me of Tarkovskiy. The problem is Tarkovskiy's movies have a heart, have a message, have a deep but strong essence, each shot delivers something, the atmosphere in them is stunningly immersive and surreal. This movie needed to be realistic as hell and to feel surreal. Speaking of surrealism, you'll have Brody walking in straight line, along some river with this dog and end up in the same place were the accident happened. Now you're having a Blair Witch Project reminiscence. You're thinking this might lead to something and probably that all the time spent with this character was not for nothing. You get him having confrontations with this woman, you get him showing signs of paranoia, of madness, of rage and anger. That is pretty obvious since he considers her as the reason for this infinite space of time he's trapped in. After a while of continuously moving around this circle, he has a small explosion of consciousness and reminds what really happened. That experience alone feels like a shocker for him but not really for us given the fact that the dialogue between him and this woman give us plenty of reasons to think about it and validate this scenery before we get acknowledged with it. In the end, we get a feeling of "that was it?". I didn't found any metaphorical content, any emotional impact, any reason for me to simply care. It was just a stale and mediocre piece of filmmaking.
Now Brody caries his character with more than just decency. Brody is a good actor that can only offer what the script can offer and since the script was poorly written on Brody's character, we get to see him trying to light a spark of life into our protagonist and make us not close the movie or walk out of theater 10 minutes in. The execution of this movie, like I mentioned earlier, is influences by Tarkovskiy's Stalker. You see the director tries to do something ambitions but falls right short. The cinematography is good, feels natural, the lightning is good but there's no sign of the DP playing with us and playing with his color and his lenses. It's just like he shot each frame in the same manner. If this was on purpose then it didn't actually work on me. The music feels tense but there's no tension in the film so it doesn't progress right. The editing sometimes looks choppy and the blood and wound effects and makeup don't look as real as I thought they should have looked.
On short, I was disappointed because I thought the premise of the movie would be interesting and that this might be a decent start for this filmmaker but I was proven wrong. This film tries to be too serious and too methodic and tries to be realistic while feeling surreal and it just becomes dull and pointless. I'm left with nothing...
Technical Execution: 7,3/10.
Replay Value: 2/10.
Minimalist as it is, "Wrecked" aims to be a suspenseful story of survival but instead settles to be little more than an actor's exercise. But if you're going to have one of those, it is best to have an actor like Adrien Brody who is always interesting to watch. Since the movie is so obsessed with playing mind games, it is more than a little tough what to make of the character at times, and therefore how much we should care about him. And the movie's solution is not so much deduced, as it is revealed, with a little lack of logic and a couple of lessons learned in the end.
It's getting to the point where a complaint like "nothing happens" is way too, but really, that's the perfect way to describe this film, because, really, "nothing happens". Don't get me wrong, tedium is absent, but the editor seems to have left too. Sure, this is a bottle film, so that's the point, but phenomenal bottle films like "Cast Away" and the more recent "127 Hours" are relatively tight in their nothingness, enough so that you really feel the atmosphere of the situation, and then it's on to the next thing. Here, while the film isn't as terribly loose as I'm making it seem, way too many segments go on way too long, and it should go without saying that, after a while, you find yourself rather bored, if engaged in the film at all, and that's a shame, considering that this film does more than just leave Adrien Brody stuck in his beaten up car. There's more uniqueness and versatility in the premise than you'd expect, but its potential isn't explored as thoroughly as it should be, and the unsupplemented product seems to be nothing more than an overlong, suspenseless bore of a bottle thriller. However, that's the "unsupplemented" product, not the final, and that's a huge difference. True, this film doesn't hit as well as it should, what with its loose editing and limited inventiveness in tone, but it most certainly does not go unsupplemented, and it is its excellent supplements that make the film worth experiencing in the long run.
The tone may not be as dynamic as it should be, but the cinematography certainly is, which isn't to say that the production and photography are as lively as they are in some of your more broadley-scoped bottle films, but James Liston's shots in here are well-staged and dynamic enough for you to really observe and absorb the claustrophobia of the situation, and with the bleak darkness in the lighting adding to that sensation, it doesn't take long for you to figure out that this film is far from devoid of intrigue. Of course, Mr. Liston isn't the only person that brings that fact to light, and although director Michael Greenspan isn't terribly consistent in his tone of intrigue and refreshingness - in terms of films of this type -, he hits way more often than he misses. He's overemphatic about the atmosphere, but when Greenspan does make that emphasis, he really livens things up, and when he drops it, he sells quiet meditation, maybe to the point where you eventually fall out of the film, but for every moment where the film loses momentum, it'll kick the gas and get back that tension. Still, even then, the tone is not much more than an eternal routine of getting comfortably numb before slipping out of this world, followed by a hit of tension that still just flows along until steam is lost, and although that routineness really quickens the pacing out, after a while, the steam would just stay lost. However, what keeps this puppy pumping through and through, and makes it such a chilling, yet very enjoyable atmospheric thrill ride is, well, need I really say it? Bottle films have always been ultimate tests, and usually ultimate testament, to see just how powerful the ability to act can be, and sure enough, Adrien Brody continues that tradition, giving a tour de force performance at a man at the edge of both society and humanity. Stranded, broken, stricken with amnesia and on the run; no one knows exactly what we would do in a situation that intense, except maybe Brody, because with skillful authenticity, he executes the raw emotion and panic with powerful skill, as well as the eternal internal battle that is humanity with subtlety and grace, and whether he's kicking and flailing around, or just trying to quietly stay intact long enough to piece the rest of him together, Brody is killing it dead with a powerhouse presence that carries the tension of the film and once again shows us what it truly mean to be, not simply an actor, but a bonafide acting "talent".
Overall, its loose, familiar and sometimes unengaging interpretation of some potentially very unique spins on the bottle film genre keep it from being a highlight among films of its type, but with dynamic cinematography keeping things lively, more-often-than-not effective atmospheric storytelling by Michael Greenspan keeping things flowing and a simply brilliant, authentic and unrelentingly raw performance by Adrien Brody keeping things compelling, "Wrecked" stands as a very enjoyabale, workmanlike number in the bottle film genre, as well as a particularly notable testament to Brody's awesome acting abilities that make it worth the watch.
3/5 - Good
I hope this happens to you Shouri! You should drive straight into a sewage drain where all the shit pots lead and asphyxiate. Covered in shit you should crawl around, struggle for air and finally out victorious and give the audience your shitty smile. Avoid this film. Verdict - Brody can participate in a crawlathon if there's one.