Movie Review – Rupture

Rupture (2017)
Written by Brian Nelson & Steven Shainberg
Directed by Steven Shainberg

rupture_still

Renee (Noomi Rapace) is a single mother in Kansas going about her life when a flat tire leads to her abduction by a mysterious cabal of scientists. She’s put through a series of torturous experiments, gets loose and goes climbing through the vents, only to discover she’s a part of the dumbest conspiracy ever, which you can likely guess in the first 20 minutes of the film. My mind is still boggling at how these actors, who are pretty good, could be in a movie like this.

I would not say I’m a fan of director Steven Shainberg’s work, but I have enjoyed it, Secretary and Fur. In Rupture he goes so far off the rails, I can’t imagine I will enjoy any more of his films if this is the direction he remains in. From the opening scene, it becomes a chore to slog through. An attempt is made to establish the situation between Renee and her troubled teenage son, but not once does this feel genuine. I know Rapace can act so I suspect this falls to atrocious dialogue from a poor script. Cuts are made during the opening to let us know her house is secretly wired with hidden cameras. Then a car begins to follow her as she drops her son at her ex-husband’s house. I assume we’re supposed to feel tension building, but nothing about the way the film is shot builds tension.

When the film gets to where it’s going, the spooky science facility it is trying real hard to make a mind-bending story happen. It never does. Everything feels like we’ve seen it done before in a much better movie. Every twist feels incredibly telegraphed, so you’re really surprised at what happens. There’s one point where the movie needs to deliver a dearth of information to the audience, and it can’t keep its protagonist trapped inside a single room. So, she just happens to be able to escape from being strapped down in a bed and climbs through the ventilation system continually coming across other patients in situations that just happen to provide the right amount of information to further the plot. But don’t worry, because later the villains reveal they knew she could get out and that this was also part of the test. The delivery of all this is so dumb and plodding.

The cast is made up of fairly decent actors. The aforementioned Rapace, Peter Stormare, Michael Chiklis, Kerry Bishe, and more aren’t bad actors. The dialogue they are given is intentionally overly cryptic because the film doesn’t know how to build a genuine mystery. Chiklis stood out to me as being absolutely horrible, but the script tries to make excuses by turning the film into somewhat of an Invasion of the Body Snatchers knock off without following those tropes. Instead, we get something much worse than a simple Body Snatchers remake. It’s a story that wants to be serious mindfuck movie but never establishes the rules of its variations on science.

Rupture is a confusing mess in the end. Its strange epilog feels tacked on and completely confuses the previous scene. Rapace tries her hardest, but so many of these lines are a tough sell for her to deliver. I just can’t imagine how anyone involved thought this film was a good idea.

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