With beautiful visuals, a committed cast and an intriguing set-up ‘A Cure for Wellness’ would seem to offer an ideal opportunity for Gore Verbinski to build upon ‘Rango’ and silence those critics put to sleep by his ‘Pirates of The Caribbean’ films and knocked unconscious by ‘The Lone Ranger’. However much like the movie itself, all is not well.

In terms of outward appearances, Verbinski’s film patient looks fine. With a good trailer, a beautifully shot movie, lustrous colours and a Swiss scenery that is never squandered, ’A Cure for Wellness’ would appear to be in good hands. The score pitches and wails where it needs to, and Dane DeHaan is suitably compelling, as are acting stalwarts Jason Isaacs and Celia Imrie who dependably infuse a slow sense of dread into the first half hour. However after that the film’s train of thought starts to derail and its threadbare plot lifts itself off the operating table only to sleep walk through the corridors of the next 2 hours. Inside the many doors that it passes you will recognise many of the patients inside: Martin Scorsese’s ‘Shutter Island’, ‘The Wicker Man’, ‘Carrie’ and the ever classic ‘Phantom of The Opera’ are all present as are many other film plots held against their will.

On this occasion, the opportunity has been squandered and whilst this film is not completely without merit, it is genuinely obtuse. Like a patient who continually can’t see what ails him, Gore Verbinski has repeated himself yet again with an outwardly dazzling premise that dulls slowly upon contact with the eyes.

Mark Esper


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