A Cure for Wellness

After watching it back recently, I'd have to say that 1998's Gargantua isn't that bad.  It's very obvious, yes, and the CGI doesn't hold up, but it's agreeable enough to watch.  I don't know why you asked, though.  I thought I made it clear that this is a review of 2016's A Cure for Wellness, a picture that I pined for when it bedecked theaters.  This would have been a great flick to catch in theaters.  Alas, I wasn't able to make it out to the hippodrome.  Over six months since my last review, I can still use ridiculous words with the best of 'em.  Don't you refer to your local movie shack as a hippodrome?  You shouldn't.

Previews painted Wellness as a wholly unique experience.  And it is unique, but now that I've imbibed the film, it's a teensy bit more conventional than I was expecting.  In a disappointing way.  I'll get to the good stuff later (my opinion is broadly roseate), but everything felt vaguely Hollywood-by-numbers.  It's as though a studio executive was standing on the set, just off to the side, intercalating directives such as "Make the ending big!" and "She's the love interest!"  By the way, I don't know that Mia Goth was the nonpareil choice to play Hannah.  This is where I need to parlay plot details, isn't it?  Damn.

Dane DeHaan is Lockhart, a young upstart who is sent to Switzerland to bring his company's CEO back to America.  Apparently, Pembroke (the CEO) has stolen away to a sequestered rehabilitation clinic nestled in the Swiss Alps.  To get "well."  Ooooh, quotation marks!  That means something mysterious is happening!  Mysteriously!  Without diving into particulars, the sanitarium utilizes eels and gallons upon gallons of water.  It's totally legit.  Seriously, how does this place exist?  Aren't there codes and ordinances that would protect against the construction of a horror house such as this?  The town is cool with it?

The plot holes are noticeable, but let's put those aside for a minute.  Back to Hannah.  We are never told her exact age, but I swear to Jehovah's astragalus (it's one of the proximal bones of the tarsus, you monkey), the girl is barely pubescent.  Fourteen at the oldest.  The actress is older, but that doesn't matter.  She looks fourteen and yet, Wellness tries to pass her off as desirable.  The marked age difference between Hannah and Lockhart doesn't seem to rankle the film.  Ew.  The villain attempts to rape her and we see her breasts AND EW.  "Ew" is probably the point, and I get that.  It's just a very uncomfortable sit.

I liked this film?  Yeah, I guess so.  Gore Verbinski is a master of the visual arts.  Several images reminded me of his redux of The Ring, mainly the underwater shots of suspended bodies and furtive, double-dealing eels (I don't trust those creepy motherfuckers).  The cast is fine (nice segue, Dom).  Jason Isaacs should be the next James Bond.  Don't get me wrong; he's excellent here as a twisted doctor, but his gentility is quite winning.  Man, apart from this paragraph, this review isn't nearly as positive as I imagined it would be in my head.

Technically speaking, A Cure for Wellness is high-grade material.  I wanted to see how it ended, which is important.  Did the ending make sense?  Nope!  This is a lengthy feature, but it still feels as though scenes were truncated.  Robert Z'Dar says, "Give Gargantua another chance."

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