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Ben Affleck in Hypnotic (IMDB)

In Hypnotic, a policeman’s daughter is abducted. He investigates and is led into a mysterious world of science fiction and political conspiracies. Source: Australian Catholics.

This thriller opens with Ben Affleck as Danny Rourke, a square-jawed local cop in Austin, Texas. His daughter has been abducted and he is desperate to find her. 

We follow Rourke in action, as he is tipped off about a bank robbery about to happen. Rourke defies advice, endangering himself and others, but is confronted by a strange, who has the eye-contact capacity to control people and act destructively. He is a “hypnotic” and is played in the sinister form of William Fichtner.

Further clues lead to a tarot card reader, Diana (Alice Braga), who explains to Rourke – and to us the audience – that there are, from birth, powerful hypnotics with dominant control. So far, so interesting as a police thriller in the police thriller vein.

At this stage we might be tempted to Google and find out whether such a phenomenon as a hypnotic is real. (And, coming home from the cinema, this reviewer did Google only to find that the reference to hypnotics is to drugs used to control sleep, sedatives.)

But then, Rourke and Diana escape to Mexico, she using her hypnotic skills to get them through borders, out of dangerous confrontations, controlling all who meet her eye. But we also travel into the realm of science-fiction, scientific experimentation, and political repercussions. Many characters are not what they seem. Reality is not what it seems.

Review by Peter Malone MSC, Jesuit Media 

Hypnotic: Starring Ben Affleck, Alice Braga, JD Pardo, William Fichtner, Dayo Okeniyi, Jeff Fahey, Jackie Earle Haley, Hala Finley, Ionia Olivia Nieves. Directed by Robert Rodriguez. 92 minutes. Rated M (Mature themes and violence)


Hypnotic (Jesuit Media via Australian Catholics)