TRANCE (director: Danny Boyle; screenwriter: John Hodge/Joe Ahearne/story by Joe Ahearne; cinematographer: Anthony Dod Mantle ; editor: Jon Harris; music: Rick Smith; cast: James McAvoy (Simon), Matt Cross (Dominic), Vincent Cassel (Franck), Rosario Dawson (Elizabeth), Danny Sapani (Nate), Wahab Sheikh (Riz), Mark Poltimore (Francis Lemaitre), (), (); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Christian Colson ; 20th CenturyFox; 2013)

"A mind-bender thriller all too cleverly helmed by the risk taking Brit filmmaker Danny Boyle."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A mind-bender thriller all too cleverly helmed by the risk taking Brit filmmaker Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire"/"Trainspotting"). The vacuous but entertaining neo-noir screenplay is by Joe Ahearne and John Hodge.

Simon (James McAvoy), a gambling addict, is a security guard in a fancy London auctioneer house, who partners as an insider with gang leader art thief Franck (Vincent Cassel) to steal in a daring day heist a prized 1798 Goya masterpiece, "Witches in the Air." When Simon is hit on the head by Franck during the botched robbery, the hospitalized Simon has amnesia and can't remember where he hid the painting. The gang hire a sexy American hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to help him remember when Franck's torture methods don't work.

It's filled with plot twists, a dazzling array of surreal camera shots, a striking dance in the buff by Rosario and enough nonsense to overwhelm even the Marx Brothers. But it really goes bonkers when the therapist is cut in as a partner and a hokey back story follows, as the plot becomes too convoluted as the femme fatale manipulates both Simon and Franck.

It's based on Ahearne’s 2001 made-for-television feature in Great Britain.

REVIEWED ON 2/26/2018       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"