Saturday 27 January 2024

Movie Review: Wander (2020)

Genre: Thriller  
Director: April Mullen  
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Tommy Lee Jones, Heather Graham  
Running Time: 94 minutes  

Synopsis: Emotionally traumatized by a personal tragedy that forced him to quit his police detective job, conspiracy theorist and private investigator Arthur Bretnik (Aaron Eckhart) lives in a trailer in the New Mexico desert, and hosts a midnight podcast with his friend Jimmy (Tommy Lee Jones). Arthur accepts a new private assignment to investigate the mysterious death of Zoe, a young woman who was killed in the small town of Wander. As he probes the perplexing behaviour of the town residents, Arthur becomes increasingly convinced that Zoe's case is part of a conspiracy linked to his own past.

What Works Well: The sparse setting in rural nowheresville is visually rich, and within the vast expanse of rustic openness, Aaron Eckhart is a weathered presence. His narration offers a deep dive into a traumatized psyche struggling to assemble routine actions into an approximation of life. 

What Does Not Work As Well: The second half rapidly disintegrates into muddled contradictions and time jumps where the conspiracy is barely outlined and every scene negates previous findings. Representing the disorientation in Arthur's head may be point, but the outcome is narrative apathy and disenchantment at whatever next explanation is being proposed. Tommy Lee Jones does not try too hard, while Katheryn Winnick as Secret Agent Elsa and Heather Graham as Arthur's lawyer (?) Shelly are caught up in the context-challenged action.

Conclusion: Initially promising but ultimately too frazzled to survive the arid desolation.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome reader comments about this post.