Sunday, April 14, 2013


A good friend once commented that THE DA VINCI CODE existed for the sole purpose of making stupid people feel smart. "Well, it's got Da Vinci, and he's smart, and it's about a code, and I figured it all out, so I'm smart! Wa-hey!" I can not speak to the accuracy of this assessment of THE DA VINCI CODE, and yet I feel, having seen Danny Boyle's TRANCE, that I have experienced the exact movie my friend was describing.

The movie is as empty as the frame held above by Vincent Cassel. For all its games of dress-up in the complexities of the human psyche and entry-level art history, TRANCE has nothing to offer us. No credible, dimensional characters (the leads are revealed to be as shallow and duplicitous as the multi-ethnic but otherwise interchangeable thugs that make up the cast); no reason to give a damn about the fate of the missing painting that serves as the movie's MacGuffin; no real plot on offer that isn't driven by the schemes of these shallowly drawn and uninvolving characters. The truly lovely cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle and brisk filmmaking do their damnedest to make something look like it's going on, but it very carefully explains every stray image, sealing everything so neatly that even the most dense viewer is sure to not be left behind. If after seeing this you have a desire to go again to catch the details you've missed, then you've been conned, and are a suitable target for the anti-human disdain this smug motion picture oozes from every scene.

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