Sunday, October 24, 2010

Movie with Abe: Inhale

Directed by Baltasar Kormakur
Released October 22, 2010

At its start, it's unclear exactly what kind of movie “Inhale” is. Paul Stanton is a determined father hellbent on finding a way for his daughter to receive vital organs. Paul's search for a way to save his daughter's life takes him down to the most depraved parts of Mexico, and the film is purposely told out of order to demonstrate his transformation from high-powered lawyer with all the means in the world to desperate scavenger without a care for his own well-being. It's unclear whether this will be a heartfelt drama, an action movie, or anything else, and the film still has not made it clear by the end.

Some movies focus most on their stories, while others focus on the messages they carry. In this case, neither is chosen and both are explored, making this movie a very muddled experience. It's mainly a problem because neither is given enough attention, and therefore the Mexico-set search by Paul for organs is full of guns, intimidation, and mystery, emphasizing the terrible conditions of this non-United States entity and the differences in the way the law operates (or rather, doesn't). It's hardly as interesting in terms of both story and ethics, and far too much time is spent on distractions and obstacles that get in Paul's way.

“Inhale” is a lofty film that attempts to offer commentary on society, and its efforts to do so quickly become obvious and tired. It also serves to negatively impact the effectiveness of the story, and much more effort seems to have been poured into ironing out the film's social commentary than on its dialogue and character development. The casting of the lead roles definitely doesn't help matters much. Dermot Mulroney, best known as lackluster leading man in comedies like “The Wedding Date” and “My Best Friend's Wedding,” is supposed to look like a fish out of water as the wealthy white lawyer seeking out a doctor in the depths of Mexico. Yet he simply seems hopelessly lost and incapable of carrying this film all by himself. Diane Kruger, who delivered her best performance to date as Bridget von Hammersmark in “Inglourious Basterds,” doesn't contribute much as his wife in a one-note role. Basically, there are plenty of heavy-handed messages to take in in “Inhale,” but the the film as a whole will leave an uncertain, unsatisfying taste in your mouth.


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