By Don Simpson | April 14, 2011
Director: Michael Greenspan
Writer: Christopher Dodd
Starring: Adrien Brody, Caroline Dhavernas, Ryan Robbins, Adrian Holmes, Jacob Blair
There is a wrecked car and two dead bodies: one in the backseat, one laying outside the car. The lone survivor, a nameless character (Adrien Brody), is pinned in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. Visibly bruised and bleeding, he tries as hard as he possibly can to get out of the car. It begins to rain and he finds himself cold and wet and just plain scared. His right leg is pinned somewhere underneath the glove compartment; his head is riddled with amnesia. He cries. He mutters curses. He moans. He writhes in pain. There is a pistol underneath the front seat. A female hiker (Caroline Dhavernas) appears to him. There is a mountain lion and a rifle-wielding man (Adrian Holmes).
What is real? What are his dreams or hallucinations? What the fuck?
This is a man who is existentially crippled by unhappy memories and ghosts of a guilty conscience. He repeatedly tries to come to terms with his situation, trying his best to hold off his ever-encroaching insanity. This is his Sisyphean purgatory; he is truly suffering for past deeds that he cannot recall, in this absurdly nightmarish version of solitary confinement.
Director Michael Greenspan’s Wrecked finds itself in the casual victim pile of unfortunate timing, as we have all too recently seen two far superior films featuring a character trapped in a claustrophobic location (Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours and Rodrigo Cortés’ Buried) — so, in this case, three is most definitely a crowd. Not quite as sublimely claustrophobic as Buried, this near dialogue-less anti-thriller directed by Michael Greenspan deserves a certain amount of credit for sticking with its guns; unlike 127 Hours, it is not until the closing minutes that we are given the opportunity to briefly escape our anonymous protagonist’s hellish predicament (unfortunately, this one fleeting moment redeems our protagonist far too quickly).
Similar to James Franco (127 Hours) and Ryan Reynolds (Buried), Wrecked gives Brody apple opportunities to flash his impressive thespian chops; but other than Brody’s intensely inspired performance, Wrecked does not have very much to offer its audience. Even during its relatively short running time (90 minutes), I often found my attention wavering. I guess watching Brody sit in a car — then drag himself around the forest — is not mentally stimulating enough for me.