Ben Affleck stars in a story full of mind control and illusions
A hypnotist can get you to do anything.
That’s the premise of “Hypnotic,” starring Ben Affleck as Danny Rourke, a police detective who can’t find his missing young daughter. As several years pass, he sees a therapist and continues his work as a cop, teaming up with his partner, Nicks (JD Pardo), to try to prevent a bank robbery. The apparent mastermind behind the robbery is Dellrayne (William Fichtner), a hypnotist who doesn’t need to swing a watch. He controls people with just the sound of his voice.
To catch Dellrayne, Danny turns to Diana Cruz (Alice Braga), the hypnotist who called in a tip about one of Dellrayne’s heists. Soon it’s Danny and Diana who are teaming up to defeat the bad guys and maybe find Danny’s 10-year-old daughter Minnie (Hala Finley).
But there’s more to this plot than what meets the eye. Literally, because Dellrayne can play with everyone’s senses. And that sets the stage for a series of surprises.
Director Robert Rodriguez, who co-wrote the story with Max Borenstein, makes the trail of clues clear in this cinematic mystery, which involves layers of secrets. The movie is from Danny’s point of view, and the fun part for viewers is to see if they can figure out what’s really going on before Danny.
In fact, “Hypnotic” succeeds largely because of Mr. Affleck’s portrayal of Danny. He always approaches his roles with honesty and simply becomes his characters without any exaggerations. Mr. Affleck makes “Hypnotic” believable.
And Ms. Braga adds dramatic depth to this movie. Her character is a catalyst for the plot, and she gives the film a lot of its heart.
The only real flaw in “Hypnotic” is a lack of explanation at the beginning. Viewers need a little more knowledge of who Danny is, etc., and Mr. Rodriguez is in a bit of a hurry to get to the action. But keep watching because once that action starts, it’s surprise after surprise, and you’ll find you have to question everything. The tricky part is separating illusions from reality.
Be sure to watch at the start of the ending credits for an extra scene that sets up a possible sequel. But there’s no additional scene after all of the credits have rolled.