At one point about halfway into the film, I commented to my wife, "Maybe De Niro is just a regular, old, blind guy and all of this is in his head. A sort of fantasy he made up to entertain himself as he trudges through the daily routine." It was supposed to be a joke, but a testament to the awful reality of the script was my wife's response: "That would actually be a better idea for a movie!"
Honestly, we only finished watching for two reasons: 1) We were having a great time making fun of it. 2) We wanted to see what laughable "twist" was coming at the end. The twist did not disappoint. **SPOILERS** De Niro wasn't really blind. OOOHHHHHHH!!! Couldn't see that one coming ten thousand miles away. The second twist? I'll let you find out, but it's just silly and certainly not worth sitting through the film, if that's the only reason you're still watching after the first 20 minutes.
Now this section will contain many SPOILERS, as I want to respond to some of the more ridiculous plot points:
1. Is this supposed to be some alternate reality, as other reviewers have stated, where any of the subject matter of this script actually matters... to anyone? If so, they did not do a good job of establishing this fact. The movie makes it seems as though psychic frauds are PLAGUING the world and must be fought with the fervor of the war on terror, or the drug war. Which, incidentally I do not agree with, but at least those would make sense for a movie plot.
2. De Niro is supposed to be some master villain, hellbent on destroying people's lives, but they never really cover any terrible act he's committing. Ohhhh... he's a fraud who fleeces people for money... AND?! Who gives a sh!7? Am I supposed to care that much about idiots giving their money to a conman? He's no worse than a televangelist. Did they show him raping women and children? Was he shown stealing money from thousands of sick and poor people? No. So who cares what some hack psychic does with his time?
3. The scene where they bust the fraudulent faith healer is hilarious. First, Sigourney and Cillian are using some high-tech spy gear to bust the guy, and for some reason the police are with them. OK. When the bust occurs, the director makes a half-assed attempt to make it look like the whole production is being run by biker meth dealing types? I assume that's what he was going for. The bust concludes with the cops hauling the faith healer off to prison... for... I'm not sure. In this world, I guess being a faith healer is some major crime that gets you locked away for life? I doubt they even broke any laws, scummy as the characters might be.
4. Sigourney Weaver's death. WTF? Did those people on the talk show kill her? Cillian just finds her dead after the talk show got out of hand. And why are they portraying the talk show appearance as though it would matter at all? In most believable worlds, Sigourney's appearance would be little more than an episode of some daytime talk show, or a blurb in a TLC programs on debunking paranormal claims. Yet, Cillian is watching this event unfold on his television screen as though he's watching a State of the Union address, or some debate that has ANY consequences to important matters. Again... who cares? Cillian's character, I guess. The audience sure wasn't lead to a place of caring by this point in the script.
5. Near the end of the film, the "scientist" who ran the experiment on De Niro is about to publish his findings that the demonstrated psychic phenomena was real. This is supposed to be a HUGE deal for some reason, that ONE scientist at ONE university published a study. This also goes against the point other reviewers posted that this script takes place in a universe where everyone is interested in the paranormal and the public widely believes in paranormal abilities. If that is the case, then why would this study be a big deal? I think this point shows that the writer/director wanted this script to take place in the real world, which is absolute insanity. Anyway... back to the topic. This scene is ridiculous! Scientist publish controversial findings all the time. The movie acts as though the second this study is signed and published, the world as we know it will come to an end. Up will become down. Black will become white. Yadda yadda. Who... gives... a... sh17?! Studies like this one HAVE been published in the real world and no one cared. So... why would anyone care about a fictionalization of a common occurrence? It's all just so terrible.
"Review" continued below...