I first saw the trailer for Wrecked at the beginning of the year, and thought it could be one of 2011’s must-see thrillers. The premise screamed awards potential – a man awakes in a car wreck with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Alone in the middle of the wilderness, he must struggle to stay alive and discover who he truly is.
Unfortunately, it’s clear that 127 Hours and Buried, with their similar premises, stole its thunder, forcing Wrecked to instead go direct to DVD. That it’s not very good probably didn’t help its fortunes, either. Doing some initial research before I watched the film, I discovered that in the US, Wrecked got a limited theatrical release.
However, despite starring Oscar winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist), it only made, according to IMDb, $4,600. That’s right, $4,600.
I’m a big fan of Brody’s work. He was excellent in The Pianist, has made bold career choices in diverse roles such as The Village and King Kong, and was nowhere near as bad as many people make out in Predators. Here, I just feel sorry for him – and not in the way I was meant to.
Clearly, Brody thought that Wrecked could be his Castaway, his 127 Hours, his Buried – just him, the camera and an emotional tour de force as his character struggles to survive with post-traumatic amnesia. Who is he? Why has he been in a car crash? Where is he? And why is there a dead guy in the back seat and bags of money in the trunk? Oh, the intrigue and mystery!
Unfortunately, this is as interesting as the film gets, because, despite having a running time of only ninety minutes, I have rarely seen a film that is so slow. I checked how much longer the film had to go three times – and that’s never a good sign.
It was also incredibly frustrating. Let me ask you a question: if you were to wake up in a car wreck and your leg was pinned down, how long would it take you to get so frustrated you would physically try to force your way out of the car? Bear in mind, you’ve managed to break off an indicator lever to use as a makeshift crowbar. Three hours? Six hours? A day? It takes him more than three days. Three days!
During this time, we have to watch him scramble about, looking for tools, food, drink rain water, hear strange noises in the dark and be generally useless. It’s not a spoiler to say that he finally escapes the car wreck and begins his journey into the wilderness to discover who he truly is, and why he’s in the middle of nowhere.
However, what follows is a long, drawn out journey of hallucinations, flashbacks and random nonsensical events with Brody’s character literally going around in circles while emotionally bonding with a dog. Now, I’m not one to trash a film – I’ve found that many a bad film has certain merits, and I’m a big fan of Brody’s work. However, Wrecked is (pun intended) a car crash of a movie.
At no point do you care about the character or his plight, and while I used the word slow to describe the movie, it also perfectly describes his character. Instead of hoping he finds out who he is or gets out the forest, I was simply cursing his inability to think logically. I was wondering if I was alone in my frustration at the film, and the few reviews I’ve found seem to completely disagree with me. One stated that “The spectacular twist in the tale delivers an unpredictable and dramatic turn which will satisfy appetites of even the most discerning film enthusiasts.”
I can honestly say I couldn’t disagree more. If you have seen more than three films in your life, you will see the twist coming a mile away. I will end this review with a prime example of the film’s annoying lapses in logic and realism. For two-thirds of the film, Brody’s unnamed character is crawling around the woods because he hurt his leg. For this entire time, I was yelling at the screen for him to simply use one of the many branches lying around as a crutch.
Oh, and another thing: why does he crawl in the opposite direction of where his car clearly came from? Surely, the road was that way? Frustrating does not even begin to describe it.
While the Blu-ray’s picture quality is nothing to write home about, the sound was impressive, with the rain scenes forcing me to look outside just to check that the noise was indeed produced by the film. After the torturous experience of watching the film, I was loath to watch the extras but, for you good people, I did.
Features include a standard behind-the-scenes featurette, and a frankly pointless feature called The Woman’s Perspective, which tells us what happens to another of the film’s characters. It in no way adds to your overall experience, and is quite redundant. I suppose if you enjoyed the film, you might get something from them, but they left me cold.