Thursday, December 3, 2020

Two fine actors, one muddled mess

Some movies just don't work -- nearly from start to finish.
Director April Mullen's Wander, a thriller starring Aaron Eckhart and Tommy Lee Jones, fits the description. Muddled to the max, Wander tells the story of Arthur Bretnik (Eckhart), a former cop who spends his time investigating conspiracy theories. Bretnik is the quintessential emotionally wounded man: An automobile accident resulted in the death of his daughter. As a further result of the crash, his now hospitalized wife (Nicole Steinwedell) has withdrawn into a catatonic state. Did all this havoc result from a crash or was the crash representative of something more sinister? Arthur occupies himself with an assignment: A woman asks him to look into the death of her daughter. A major question arises: Is Bretnik a nut or is he really onto something -- with help, of course, from his pal Jimmy Cleats (Jones)? Arthur and Jimmy host an amateur radio show in which conspiracy-minded folks call in to vent and air their thoughts. Not worth belaboring, Wander is one of those WTF movies that drowns inside its endless convolutions, dodges, and cuts.  The overall confusion breeds wide-eye disbelief and offers the viewer little choice but to give up caring.

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