Movie Review: Trance (2013)


Written by Anthony Sargon

Danny Boyle is known for making some pretty trippy movies. He likes to get in your head and mess with it, and while "Trance" certainly succeeds at that, it feels a little vapid compared to the rest of Mr. Boyle's repertoire.

The story revolves around Simon (James McAvoy), a fine art auctioneer who teams up with a group of criminals to steal a ridiculously valuable Goya painting. After suffering a big blow to the head during the heist, Simon wakes up with no memory of where he hid the painting. When threats and torture do little to produce answers, gang-leader Franck (Vincent Cassel) hires hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to delve into the darkest recesses of Simon's mind and find out where he hid the painting. But the deeper Elizabeth goes into Simon's broken subconscious, the more difficult it becomes to blur the line between what's real and what's not.

Danny Boyle's direction is as stylish as ever in "Trance", and you'll find a lot of pretty imagery to go along with an intense and at times ominous soundtrack. The film looks slick and clean and moves along at a brisk pace. The problem is that it's a little too superficial; the story and script are B-level while everything else is top-notch. You can see certain twists coming from a mile away, and the story's attempts at confusing the audience are a little cheap at times.

The performances are great, but that's to be expected when you have James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson leading the charge. McAvoy continues to establish himself as a great leading man, and he truly does have the charisma to carry a film. Vincent Cassel is fine as Franck, but his character isn't very likable from the get-go so it's hard caring for what happens to him.

Anthony's Verdict:

This is probably the weakest Danny Boyle film we've gotten in a while, but that's not to say it's a bad film by any means. It'll pass the time, but don't expect to walk out as blown away as the filmmakers hoped you would.

Numerical Score: 6.5/10

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