A Cure for Wellness

In Depth Review

Gore Verbinski’s ‘A Cure for Wellness’ follows Dane DeHaan as a relatively shallow Lockhart to the Swiss alps to retrieve his company’s CEO and return to New York, oops guess who isn’t getting home so easily, mystery and frustration ensues. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find this film disappointing but it has enough value for me to have say I reasonably enjoyed it.

‘A Cure for Wellness’ takes its time in establishing and the first half an hour feels like an extended version of the trailer only with context. However, once it gets its stride the film has a good flow and enough face value to entertain. Eerie set pieces, clues dropped and a (homage?) scene from marathon man keep you occupied. The third act is where things get tiring, if you didn’t put the clues together by this point you weren’t paying attention and you must surely be wondering how much longer this can possibly go on for, it is too long and could have probably had the same outcome as a shorter, better paced film.

However, the main problem with the film is not it’s length but it’s explicable predictability. Apart from small details of story here and there I could unfortunately piece together the film early on, it takes Lockhart an unbelievably long time to catch on to even the smallest of clues which are so obviously presented.

The creepy tone and interesting cinematography fit well with the themes and accompanied with great production design it comes together for what I felt was a good overall experience. Aside from a couple of times where I was taken out of the experience the feeling, tone and look of the movie is its strongest and most consistent feature. Hats off to director of photography Bojan Bazelli and production designer Eve Stewart.

The performances are all fine, Dane DeHaan and Mia Goth do well in their roles. Jason Isaacs is fine but has done better, I expected more from him in this type of role. He also for some reason decided to lose the accent he had been talking with for the third act which was somewhat distracting.

Perhaps the predictable story could have been salvaged somewhat with proper use of the interesting examination of the protagonists lifestyle choices. The concept of a wasted life, avoiding family issues, time spent climbing social and career ladders for some form of gain and this being a ‘sickness’ was intriguing for the first half but is left behind and has no pay off.

Intriguing, creepy and mind occupying enough to sit through I can appreciate this film for what it is but it does miss the mark and I really had hoped for this to be something brilliant.

-Dave Stewart

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