Wrecked: An Absorbing Trapped-Actor Micro-Thriller

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Wrecked
Directed by Michael Greenspan
IFC Midnight
Opens April 1, IFC Center

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Yet another trapped-actor micro-thriller, this raw-nerved indie opens with shuddering organic close-ups too abstracted for comfort. Director Michael Greenspan eventually inches back to reveal cornea-traumatized Adrien Brody waking in a crushed car, deep in the mountains where there are no roads, his leg pinned under the dashboard and his memory fucked. Corpses surround him, and the days begin to pass. As he might have with Buried and 127 Hours, Rod Serling could’ve winged this baby inside of 24 minutes, but that doesn’t mean Greenspan, in his feature debut, doesn’t have a death grip on the lean scenario’s opportunities for texture and atmosphere: Because it’s so carefully parceled out and so evocatively framed (in widescreen), Wrecked is an absorbing ordeal, perhaps less for its survival narrative than its metaphoric heft. Brody makes for a vivid victim of purgatory (thankfully, Greenspan and scripter/non-senator Christopher Dodd did not make their man a chatterbox—it’s a quiet movie), and the iron-maiden form of the scenario is never less than physically convincing. Slowly and conventionally, memories come flashing back like electroshock and the mysteries are solved. But the experience is still nasty, enabled by a real intimacy with soil and some of the best dog acting since John Carpenter’s The Thing.

 
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