"A Cure For Wellness"

Gore Verbinski's "A Cure For Wellness" is the kind of film that the less said the more you will  go along with it. It's a messy, at times entertaining, but convoluted romp that leaves you with a what-in-the-flying-hell-was-that kind of feeling once the credits roll. I don't think I can recommend the film , but there are enough unique traits here that could satisfy curiosity seekers or completists. 

First off, this a 145 minute movie. I can't recall the last time I saw a big studio film released in February that stretched well over the two and a half hour mark. That lengthy running time is a box-office kiss of death for most films that are not sequels or superhero fare. Secondly, the budget seems to be well over $50 Million dollars, although my research has yet to pinpoint an exact number, and it could even be closer to $100 Million. A budget that high for an R-rated February release is abnormal, which tells me that Verbinski, not just a successful director, but a successful producer, probably put forth some of his own money to make this film. Thirdly, the story is not at all audience-friendly. It's strange, goes places that even I found extremely odd and out of place.

Lockhart, the film's ambitious young executive (Dane DeHaan) is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from a "wellness center" that, of course, is located at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. Of course, as his journey goes along he srtas to notice that something is ... off about the place. The more he learns about the place, the more his thoughts start to delve deeper and deeper into a black hole of insanty.

The movie most people will be comparing "A Cure for Wellness" to is no doubt "Shutter Island," and the resembances are there. However, if Martin Scorsese infused his gothic thriller with a sense of dreaded surrealism and the scenes felt shot by a true master of the form, not to mention the story was much better, Gore Verbinski doesn't have the chops to save what is essentially an overstuffed horror melodrama. 

It is the definition of a non-starter, a film that doesn't really fit any kind of demographic. It takes risks that most big-studio productions would duck under, but fails more than succeeds in its artistic intentions [C]