TRANCE (2013, Danny Boyle): 3/10
For all of you who thought ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND was too sophisticated, too nuanced, too emotional and heart-breaking, too intelligent, or too funny, thank heavens there’s Danny Boyle here to deliver you ETERNAL SUNSHINE FOR DUMMIES. This is a shallow, sappy love story masquerading as a heist film and neo-noir, and it’s all done with a bizarrely tone-deaf attitude that makes me wonder if Boyle even gave a shit about the script at all.
Stylistically it’s not lacking, but that doesn’t mean it’s good — plenty of visuals are here just to be flashy, as if Boyle was trying to do De Palma without ever realizing that De Palma has a reason for every camera move and editing trick. But the real crimes here are the dialogue and story, which are just violently stupid at a rapidly increasing pace. Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson, two very talented actors, are hung out to dry even as they do their best with this subject matter. James McEvoy, on the other hand, may just never have what it takes to be a leading man. Boyle needs Ewan McGregor circa 1998 to pull this character off, and try as he may to recreate young McGregor in McEvoy, the results are depressing.
It’s a vulgar, trashy, slickly-shot C-movie that commits the worst sin a disposable matinee can commit: thinking that it is far more profound than it actually is. This adds a sticky layer of pretension to a film that uses pubic hair as a main plot point and hypnotherapy as a serious criminal weapon.