I was fully invested during the film's first half. Despite a few grumbles at the screen, I was mildly intrigued and the acting was never diabolical by any means. By the film's end, however, I just shook my head in disbelief. There was definitely shock value. No I did not see that coming; but only because it should never have been humored as a possibility to begin with! Boyle has guts, that's for sure, because this film would have been better played out as a fantasy in which sorcery, not hypnosis, was used as the prime tool of deceitfulness. If I had possession of a magic wand, I would erase the time I invested on this farcical affair and sit through another movie altogether.
Its like someone watched Inception, decided it was too polished, structured, and enjoyable, and decided to write this mess. How is he a hero if the painting was never found? Why have group hypnotism at all if only a few of the participants are effected?
Style over substance, and not in a good way. First 20 minutes are enjoyable, and then the film collapses on itself. Apparently twist ending = deep.