The Jacket

by December Lambeth on April 15, 2005

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Jacket
  • IMDb: link

After recuperating from a gunshot wound to the head, Gulf War veteran Jack Starks (ADRIEN BRODY) returns to his native Vermont suffering from amnesia. When he is accused of murdering a police officer and committed to a mental institution, a physician, Dr. Becker (KRIS KRISTOFFERSON), puts him on a controversial treatment regimen in which Starks is injected with experimental drugs, confined in a straight-jacket, and locked for extended periods in the body drawer of the basement morgue. In his drugged and disoriented state, Starks’ mind propels him into the future, where he meets Jackie (KEIRA KNIGHTLEY), and discovers that he is destined to die in four days. Together, they search for a way to save him from his fate.—© Warner Independent.

The Jacket does exactly what it intends to do, it freaks people out. During the film there is a sense of discomfort and tension, both from the situations and actual visuals. The whole time your brain is thinking not another needle, no please not another closed tight place with an urine and blood stained straight jacket and no more up close gritty jump cuts.

The Jacket never explains why it is; it just is. Jack Starks (Adrien Brody), resident straight jacket guy, has some truly bad luck, bad is probably an understatement; first a war then a gun shot wound to the head and finally set up for a murder and sent to the looney bin.  While at the nut house Jack is subjected to horrific events like being shoved into a morgue drawer pumped up on Doc Becker’s (Kris Kristofferson) special little cocktail and completely freaking out. In this death box he dreams that he has traveled into the future and has seen his death. While visiting his future self he runs into Jackie (Keira Knightley), now a grown woman; but was a little girl, he had helped on the road side, from his past. Jack is a little unsettled by this at first, but soon sinks into the illusion and convinces Jackie of who he is. She picks him up at a bus stop and takes him home. she lets him roam her house while she is taking a bath, little Keira Knightley nudity, and then kicks him out. POW! It’s back to reality for Jack, he’s pulled out of the drawer and faced with the good doc and some really fugly nurse. With some friendly assistance and guidance from Dr. Lorenson (Jennifer Jason Leigh) Jack finds a way to fix the future and stay in a state of pleasant bliss.  Make sense?  No?  You’re not the only one.

The Jacket will take it’s viewer on a very weird and tense trip down the rabbit hole. Scenes that are a little unsettling and situations that will make you cringe, but the artistic ability behind the cinematography and visuals is brilliant. Adrien Brody pulled out one hell of a performance, the audience will feel every needle prick and nauseating claustrophobic event with Jack; thanks to Adrien’s talent and brilliance on screen. Kris Kristofferson is cool no matter what he does and he plays a mean ass doctor. Keira Knightley wasn’t as convincing. It is hard to believe that she is this oppressed manic depressant that doesn’t give a crap for her life. She is just too cute, gritting her teeth, painting her nails black, wearing 3-day old makeup and snarling all the time doesn’t make it work. Some of the scenarios are weird, and I mean a little underage weird. There is a scene after Jack has slept with Jackie, that he gets to go back and visit her and her mom when she was a little girl. Lot’s of ick factor there. He’s all touching her face and looking all gooey eyed at her; she’s a little girl for crying out loud!  That is gross. Another scene that was a little off is when Jackie picks Jack up outside of the bus stop in the middle of the night. A complete stranger and she takes him home; not only takes him home, but invites him to stay the night. What’s worse than that she tells him to help himself to the fridge while she takes a bath. How many women do you know that would pick up a complete stranger and let him stay the night and munch away while your bathing?

Overall The Jacket worked for the purpose it had. It hit its goal right on the nose and psyches the viewer out.

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