The Jacket (2005)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Supernatural Thriller, Thriller
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John Maybury John Maybury
Adrien Brody Adrien Brody
Keira Knightley Keira Knightley
Kris Kristofferson Kris Kristofferson
Jennifer Jason Leigh Jennifer Jason Leigh
Kelly Lynch Kelly Lynch

6.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 27, 2005
Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) is an American soldier serving in Operation Desert Storm, where he is shot in the head by a pistol-wielding child. He is pronounced dead by a field surgeon, but miraculously, he comes to. He is sent home with a bronze star, and while walking the streets of Vermont, he comes across a young lady (Kelly Lynch) and her daughter (Laura Marano) stranded on the side of the road with a broken-down truck. It turns out that Jean, the mother, is drunk and completely trashed, while Jackie, the daughter, doesn't know what to do. Jack fixes their truck for them, and in thanks, the little girl gives him a hug while the mother screams at him to get his hands off of her daughter. Talk about appreciation. Jack continues onwards down the road, where he catches a ride with a stranger (Brad Renfro) on his way to Canada. Things are going good... up until the point where a cop pulls them over, causing the stranger to whip out a gun and kill the cop. Jack blacks out, and the next thing we know, he is on trial for the murder of the policeman. The problem is that Jack doesn't remember anything about that day, and as such, he is found to be the one responsible. However, he is found not guilty by reason of insanity, so he is sent to an institution for the criminally insane. There, he quickly learns that Dr. Becker (Kris Kristofferson), the man in charge of the place, has an experimental new method of curing the insane which involves putting the patient into a straight-jacket and locking them inside of a morgue drawer for hours on end. Things quickly get even odder when Jack is transported into the future while inside of this drawer, and he goes on to meet the now grown-up Jackie (Keira Knightley). He also finds out about some things that are about to happen, both in his original time and in this future time...

I found that this movie was very similar to The Butterfly Effect with the whole time-travel concept. While it was original enough to not be considered a ripoff, those of you who have seen Butterfly will more than likely notice a few similarities. However, don't be so quick to pass this one up if you didn't enjoy Butterfly. While I would almost guarantee that those who enjoyed it would also enjoy this, the opposite isn't quite as true. If you didn't like Butterfly, that doesn't necessarily mean that you won't enjoy this. Sure, there's some similarities, but this is by no means a rehash of the tale that is found there.

Another comparison to Butterfly that springs to mind is the level of complexity that is used throughout the movie. Things are kept complex enough to leave you wondering what in the hell is going on at the intended moments, but simple enough so that when all is said and done, everything (should) make sense to the viewer. It never seemed like it was dumbed down for the movie-going audience, but it did seem like the script-writer had a good sense of what would work and what wouldn't. As a result, we have a storyline that while slow in a spot or two, works out nicely as an overall package.

The acting worked out pretty nicely as well, with Adrien Brody deservedly cast in the leading role. The man did a great job with the role and was able to convey each of the required emotions and mindsets of the character with ease. Keira Knightley also turns in a surprisingly good performance, one which was much better than the role in the last movie that I saw her in (The Hole). Neither of these cast members were perfect in their roles, but they certainly were a good bit above average. However, Kris Kristofferson steals the show whenever he pops into a scene, turning in a great performance and absolutely reveling in the character and scenery. You can tell that he was having a good time with the character, but you can also tell that he put a lot of work into his scenes to get things just right.

Overall, I'd recommend this one, especially to people who enjoyed The Butterfly Effect. It's not perfect, but it does make for an entertaining evening for fans of sci-fi / supernatural oriented thrillers. 8/10.
Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added 02/23/2010, 06:45 PM
I agree with Chad on the fact that I hated The Butterfly Effect, but I thought this movie was great. I can't stand Keira Knightly, there's just something about her that makes me want to punch her. 8/10
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