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Hypnotic Review: Ben Affleck’s Neo-Noir Thriller Fails to Mesmerize

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In a cinematic landscape where originality is increasingly rare, “Hypnotic” seemingly promised to be a breath of fresh air, as Robert Rodriguez, the auteur behind “El Mariachi” and “From Dusk Till Dawn,” ventured into the realm of neo-noir detective tales and we love us some “Sin City.” However, instead of being a mesmerizing thrill ride, the film feels more like a wobbly rollercoaster of déjà vu, as awkwardly executed as the “Space Vespa” chase scene from “The Book of Boba Fett.”

“Hypnotic” follows the story of grieving detective Danny Rourke, played by a lackluster Ben Affleck, as he searches for his missing daughter while navigating a world of mind-bending powers and shifting realities. Despite its intriguing premise, the film fails to deliver on its potential, as Rodriguez’s ambitious attempt at a high-concept narrative ultimately collapses under the weight of its own confusion. With a disjointed story that borrows heavily from the likes of “The Matrix,” “Inception,” and “Memento,” “Hypnotic” struggles to carve out its own identity.

While the film offers some visually captivating moments, it is undermined by its overall cheap aesthetic and haphazard pacing. One can’t help but feel that Rodriguez’s scrappy, independent spirit, which once propelled him to cinematic fame, has been lost in a sea of formulaic streaming content. In comparison to his earlier work, “Hypnotic” fails to capture the same renegade energy and creative spark that made Rodriguez a household name in indie filmmaking.

The supporting cast, including Alice Braga and William Fichtner, do their best to inject some much-needed energy into the film, but ultimately, they cannot salvage the convoluted plot and murky character development. As the film unravels secret after secret, it becomes increasingly difficult for the audience to invest in the characters’ fates or the story’s resolution.

“Hypnotic” is a disappointing entry in Robert Rodriguez’s filmography, failing to live up to the expectations set by his previous work. Its convoluted narrative, uninspired performances, and lack of depth make for an underwhelming viewing experience that leaves audiences feeling emotionally detached. While there may be a glimmer of potential hidden beneath the surface, “Hypnotic” ultimately fails to mentally keep its audience mesmerized.

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RATING: 2.0 out of 5.

Hypnotic is in theaters on May 12th.

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