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Rupture (Fantasia Review)

Rupture (Fantasia Review)
07.16.2016by: Eric Walkuski
6 10

PLOT: A single mother is kidnapped one day by a mysterious organization that proceeds to interrogate her without explanation. They want her for something, but what?

REVIEW: RUPTURE is a weird film. It's not exactly good, but it kept me intrigued throughout. That's mostly due to the central mystery, as the plot keeps its protagonist and thus the audience in the dark as to what exactly is going on for about 2/3 of the running time. Once all is revealed, well, let's just say the payoff isn't really worth the wait. But it's sort of an interesting ride to the finish anyway.

Noomi Rapace plays Renee, a single mother dealing with a temperamental son. When we meet her in her everyday life, we're alerted to the fact that she and her son are evidently being recorded by hidden cameras placed throughout her house. Even more ominous, a burly fellow (Michael Chiklis) puts some kind of strange device on the wheel of her car. Later, after dropping her boy off at school and heading to a skydiving lesson, the device blows out the wheel and leaves Renee stranded on the road. The Chiklis character isn't far behind, and before she knows it Renee is abducted by several people, thrown inside a truck and driven for hours to an unknown location. Her destination is ultimately revealed to be a grimy warehouse outfitted with all sorts of high-tech locking mechanisms and an unnerving amount of medical equipment. Her captors are odd folks, seemingly without emotion, save for perhaps detached bemusement at Renee's pleas for an explanation. These people (Peter Stormare and Kerry Bishe among them) have many questions for Renee and apparently want her to "help" them with something, but what they're not about to tell her. First they'll have to do a few experiments.

Without giving too much away, I'll say that most of RUPTURE is played in almost highly theatrical fashion. It's somewhere between a horror movie and a dark comedy, and while director Steven Shainberg keeps this atmosphere going admirably, it ultimately becomes more perplexing than suspenseful. The movie does get a little repetitive after a while. One or two scenes of Renee being sternly interrogated are fine, but add three or four more and you start to yearn for something different. And there's an escape sequence that has so many moments of "why the hell is she doing that?" that stretch suspension of disbelief beyond the breaking point.

Rapace's performance is good in spots, unexceptional in others. There are a handful of scenes where she really freaks out and they're played with hysterical gusto. For some reason, however, Renee never really earned my sympathy, and maybe that's just because she seemed less than natural in the film's early scenes, which aren't exactly authentic. I never bought Renee as a flesh and blood character, and part of that's Rapace's performance and part of that is we don't really know much about her other than the broad strokes the screenplay (by Brian Nelson) gives us. The "villains" of the piece are almost robotic in demeanor, but it's all generally well played by Chiklis, Stormare and especially Bishe, who's perhaps the creepiest of the bunch. (It's probably that mannequin-like smile.)

And the third act is a letdown. This is one of those movies where you're waiting over an hour to find out just what the hell this is all about, and when the other shoe finally drops, it's both predictable and unsatisfying. Worse yet, the movie has what appears to be a climactic sequence, but then it continues going for another 10 minutes; the definition of anti-climax. There are still plenty of questions regarding the kidnappers after the movie is over, but none pressing enough that I bothered to really mull any of it over. I was mostly with it while it played out, but when RUPTURE was done, so was I.

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