A Cure for Wellness, review: ‘Its failure is total’

PUBLISHED: 17:30 21 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:33 21 February 2017

A Cure for Wellness stars Dane DeHaan. Picture: Fox

A Cure for Wellness stars Dane DeHaan. Picture: Fox


The plot is cobbled together and there’s an excess of eels in this style-over-substance (but not particularly stylish) thriller

Hollywood has a sly way of dealing with gripes about its committee driven creative process and the way it stifles originality and individuality: every once in a while they allow an individual to be creative.

They pick a director who has made them heaps of money helming blockbusters and let him loose on an itch they’ve always wanted to scratch.

The prime example would be Zach Synder’s Sucker Punch, an unfathomable assemblage of pipsqueak pretensions that had you yearning for a nice sensible sequel or franchise superhero flick.

Here the director of Pirates of the Caribbean 1-3 (Gore Verbinski) has been allowed to indulge himself with a Hammer Health Spa of Horror number, set in the Swiss Alps which somehow manages to fritter away nearly two and half hours searching for something to merit our attention.

It’s a much more sedate, circumspect fiasco than Sucker Punch, but its failure is just as total.

Dane DeHann is an evil banker sent to bring back the CEO of the company who has gone to the treatment centre where nobody ever leaves.

Once there he tries to uncover its sinister secrets but take ages doing so; probably because he can’t believe that the big reveal is going to be quite as irrelevant and uninteresting as it is.

The plot seems to have been cobbled together to set up a series of big scenes that Verbinski wanted to shoot.

It’s an exercise in style over substance, but the style is tired and second hand and not nearly enough to make you forgive the contrived plotting.

And it’s all eels, almost every visual shock involves eels. What’s the big deal with eels? They might make you jump once, but not repeatedly; a little of what eels you goes a long way.

Rating: 1/5 stars

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