Danny Boyle re-teams with scribe John Hodge (co-writing with Joe Ahearne) for Trance, their first collaboration since 2000’s The Beach. A pulpy return in novelistic filmmaking for Boyle, this labyrinthine narrative has a few too many ridiculous turns of the screw to feel like the intelligent mindf*ckery it really wants to be. Its lofty aspirations give it a unique flavor, like Inception meets Mamet’s Heist, but there’s an aggravating aura of smugness to this mystery thriller that reduces the sum of its parts to a mere marriage of convenience.
Simon (James McAvoy) is a fine art auctioneer that’s the victim of a vicious head injury during an audacious heist of a prized painting by Francisco Goya, the eerie Witches in the Air. After Simon is released from the hospital, ruthless gang leader Franck (Vincent Cassel), demands