In Implanted, a Man Forced to Play Detective with His Own Life
From the moment Ethan (Justice Leak) wakes up in a hospital bed — shaved head, countless tubes snaking from his body — he's forced to play detective with his own life.
How and why did he end up in the hospital, unable to recall what procedure was performed on him? What are his family and friends keeping from him?
At its core, writer-director Thomas Verrette's thriller grapples with the foundational relationship between memory and self-identity. It's a well-trod path of exploration, and Verrette — largely competent, often pedestrian — doesn't bring much new to the investigative process.
He jumps back and forth across the film's timeline, jumbles real and imagined events in Ethan's mind, and slowly sketches his hero's family life as a cauldron of secrets and lies. A lot of the dialogue plays like something an ambitious film student enamored of complex thrillers would write.
The cast is decent with the material (particularly Leak and Robert Pralgo as Ethan's surgeon father with his own murky motives.) But keeping pace with the leaps across time and Ethan's unreliable memories doesn't offer much payoff for viewers.
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