Hypnotic is the newest movie by Robert Rodriguez. I’ve been a fan of Rodriguez for a while, before the dark times, before The Book of Boba Fett. His newest movie, Hypnotic, stars Ben Affleck, Alice Braga, JD Pardo, Dayo Okeniyi, Jeff Fahey, Jackie Earle Haley, and William Fincher. It was written with Max Borenstein. The story is:

“A detective investigates a mystery involving his missing daughter and a secret government program.”

The Story

Hypnotic starts off with Danny Rourke, played by Affleck, in a psychiatrist’s office, running over the details of how his daughter went missing. He is a cop and the missing daughter made the news. He gets a tip-off of a bank robbery and starts surveillance. William Fincher turns up and tells a woman the weather is very hot and she starts to strip off, causing an incident. While this is going on, Fincher is trying to steal a deposit box, with the help of two security guards who seem to be under his control.

Rourke gets the contents of the deposit box first, which is a picture of his daughter. Fincher forces two other cops to shoot each other, and jumps off a building, only to disappear. Rourke ends up meeting a psychic called Diana Cruz, played by Braga. She tells him that there was a government agency that was developing people’s hypnotic powers. Some people had the power to fully control others, Fincher being the most dangerous of them.


As the story goes on, we learn that Rourke is actually a powerful hypnotic himself and this agency is after his daughter, who has the same powers. This is where it starts to go downhill. The first act is pretty intriguing and gets your attention. As things move on though, it basically turns into Inception, where it’s all a big ruse to find his daughter and it’s all set up like The Truman Show. Everyone is an actor and everyone is in on it, including Diana.

*End of Spoilers*

As I said, the first act is interesting, but then the second act is very much a paint-by-numbers thriller. Go here, meet them, plot exposition, go there, chase scene, meet someone else, plot exposition, repeat.


This was an interesting start, but it really tails off and the ending is predictable, even down to the end of the credits scene being a shock, but not really that shocking. The actual end is like a Mexican stand-off, but everyone is standing staring at each other, using their minds. It was laughable, to be honest.

The cast is pretty good throughout, but Affleck is playing Bruce Wayne, doing an impression of Batman at the same time. He’s very gruff and seems to be posing most of the time. I did laugh in places where I shouldn’t have. The visuals are good, there are a couple of shots that feel taken from Doctor Strange or Inception, but they were few and far between. More could have been made of this since the hypnotics in the movie can create realities in other people’s minds.

The second act shows how out of shape reality is for Rourke, but it was just silly in the way it was set up. It reminded me of the end of Us, where the ending also made no sense. In Us, there are doppelgangers that copy what people do above ground. People underground couldn’t run a marathon in tiny tunnels, or go on a cruise! There is the same thing set up in Hypnotic, there is a setup, but if Rourke went off course, they were all buggered.

As I said, this starts off well but just gets duller as it goes on, hence the low score. It killed 90 minutes, but I won’t watch it again.

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