Sometimes a movie gets too complicated for its own good. The director, Danny Boyle, has some really fine movies in his portfolio, and this is certainly an ambitious one. But it goes a few steps too far.
The premise is promising. (The promise is premising?) James McAvoy is involved as the insider in a huge heist of a Goya from an auction house, where someone has just agreed to pay something like thirty million pounds for it. But he deviates from the script a little, and when his accomplices get the painting to their hideout … there’s nothing in the bag that was holding it. So naturally they go after him. But there’s a problem. Even though they torture him, he just can’t remember what he did with it. He was hit on the head after he did whatever he did, and has amnesia for that time.
Hugely frustrating for these violent men. He sincerely wants to help, knowing that in the end, if they don’t find it, he will be killed. So they go to a hypnotist, Rosario Dawson, to see if she can recover the memory. But why her? He thinks he has just plucked her name out of the air, but it’s not as simple as that. Which is about all I can say without revealing too much. It was going merrily along, looking great, challenging my feeble brain … and then I began to feel cheated. There are only so many twists you can tack onto the ending of a story without me feeling the writer is just showing off. It loses its way. Still, I won’t entirely condemn it, because for a long time it is just dandy. I wish they had gone for a different ending.