Danny Rourke (Ben Affleck) is a detective with a horrific past. While he was distracted momentarily, somebody took his daughter from a busy park where he was watching her play. It only took a matter of seconds, and her disappearance remains a mystery to this day. The only thing that keeps his mind busy and distracted is his work in the field. When Danny and his partner get an anonymous tip regarding a bank heist that has yet to happen, Danny and his team go on a stakeout.
While in a van outside the bank on their stakeout, mysterious things begin to happen. Danny notices a mysterious man (William Fichtner) creating chaos by controlling people using keywords and a specific tone of voice. Despite being unable to stop the robbery, Danny finds a clue, and somehow, his missing daughter is connected. Now Danny finds himself investigating a whole new mystery that is both unexplainable and personal. One person who could assist Danny is a psychic, Diana (Alice Braga), who has used her abilities to scam others in the past. Her skill set also includes a secret skill known as ‘Hypnotic’. Soon, Danny and Diana find themselves running from a secret group together, looking for clues and further information to uncover the truth.
Hypnotic is loaded with many genres and instantly begins with a vast mystery relating to Danny’s missing daughter. This mystery grows deeper, resulting in more unexplainable twists and turns. As a thriller, the audience instantly becomes invested. It’s near impossible not to be curious about the storyline and all the strange events surrounding Danny’s world. Those who love action will be pleased here at specific points, but these moments are brief, and the film draws heavily on the thriller aspect.
There’s plenty here in the story that I admired. I consistently found myself guessing and wondering how this film would answer and conclude its core mystery. It’s a snappy film with scenes that are quick and straight to the point, and edits are always sharp. Once again, Director Robert Rodriguez has created a wonderful-looking film despite some slightly questionable special effects. Like his previous films, I again admired the filming style, and it’s a delightfully fun world that is introduced. It’s also evident that Rodriguez is highly passionate about this story and appears to be enjoying creativity in this movie.
To avoid spoiling this film, I will remain vague and state that I had some issues with the film, including some performances, particularly during the first act. Some cast members seemed bland and occasionally even emotionless, which I found distracting. My opinion on this matter changed as the film progressed and the story deepened. Still, I can’t deny that it initially took me by surprise. Despite other more expressionless performances, William Fichtner as the mystery man continually had excellent screen presence. While I’m always a fan of being surprised at multiple twists and turns, here I must confess that a lot is going on given the short runtime. Hypnotic isn’t just packed with one or two twists; it’s loaded with several reveals, including one shown during the credits. I felt a little exhausted at times as these constant reveals never let audiences feel comfortable. In return, the film begins to feel less exciting.
Overall, once again, Robert Rodriguez delivers a passionate, exciting, and creative film. Hypnotic is a thriller first and an action film second. The engaging mystery at the film’s beginning instantly grabs the audience, which I appreciated. I also enjoyed Rodriguez’s craft and skill. Performances were at first questionable, but thankfully, this changes as the film progresses forward. Sadly, the film suffers a few minor issues, including the eventually exhausting twists and turns- even during the end credits, the surprises and reveals keep coming. Hypnotic is undoubtedly a great concept, and it held my investment.