Jack the Tripper

“The Jacket” is hardly an original, but it sure looks strange. Its peculiarity, one would realize, is from the mix of familiar elements from previous and more daring movies. Jack Stark (Adrien Brody) is a Gulf War veteran, supposedly framed for a cop’s murder. He is convicted of the crime but is sent to a psychiatric facility, since he can’t remember what happened. Gulf War Syndrome maybe? He is pumped with drugs, strapped in a straitjacket, and rolled into a morgue drawer. Inside, he is transported to year 2007 and meets a young woman (Keira Knightley), who has a significant role in his past (or is the present?)

“The Jacket” has enough interesting and complex stuff to throw, but what it picks up and carries is unfortunately simple and awkwardly dull. I kept watching the movie because 1) I’m too lazy to pick up the remote and press stop 2) I paid money for it 3) a big story twist is ripe for turning and 4) Brody and Knightley are watchable. Brody’s face is a nice canvas for torture and Keira Knightley, who lowers her voice to fake an American accent, does a “Jennifer Connelly.” That means she’s smoking even if she’s drenched in gloom. But I can’t quite recommend this. The time traveling aspect is strictly used as a story device and is never taken seriously. By the end, you realize there are too many holes in “The Jacket.” It might as well be the Emperor’s new clothes.

Grade: C

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