A Cure For Wellness (2017) 
A Review By Ben Hunter
2/5 Stars


Your disappointment just might go away when it’s over when you become thankful you heeded advice to avoid it in theaters. 


The agility of navigating towards true fulfillment. With vitality and spirit I strive in purpose. Aghast, antagony in attempts to prevail with such dynamism and glorious vigor deteriorate. I feel. I touch. I think of happiness. And I become one with my place of bearing. Because I am well. 

… Or so I should think.

High up in the Swiss Alps, Lockhart (Dane DeHaan), a successful, young, and ambitious financial executive is sent to a “wellness center” from his higher ups to retrieve a fellow CEO of the company back to New York for legal proceedings. As Lockhart jockeys to make haste for his endeavors in the big apple, “fate” becomes ever so convenient. As the hour slowly begins to amplify, the entrance into this castle of proportions, begins to reveal itself. Lockhart begins to attain pieces of the historic events that keep its patients so “well”. He unwillingly begins to unravel the mystery, looking for the “cure”. “Are you living in infamy? Well we’ve perfectly shown you why that isn’t so.”

So, scene after scene director Gore Verbinski (The Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean, Rango) gives it the college try to show you why your standard, default reaction, is incorrect. He really tries to defend his actions and have everything make sense in an unorthodox and uncivilized manner that somehow is indeed civil and acceptable for the rules established in this narrative. 

That’s why this failed.

Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) stuck unraveling the mystery of this "wellness spa". 
Exactly why it failed is more like it. An honest attempt to be original and pluck ones emotions right from his or her grasp. Providing an experience unprepared for, yet thankful for its entrance into possession of emotion. I could get some kind of sense where Verbinski was going for, but it was such a disappointment with the potential this held. It’s supposed to come full circle in the end after having gone through such a shocking experience having pushed the boundaries of creativity and innovation. I left kind of frustrated. 
The story simply isn’t congruent. It left me asking questions afterwards in the bad way. Questions that calculate a conclusion that the narrative doesn’t take you by the hand or guide you in proper manner from point to point. Instead of following protocol and renting the boat, taking safety precautions for all one’s guests navigating the voyage, and sufficiently sailing across the water where we all feel safe and know what’s happening, and not that we’re being kidnapped or abducted or what not, “instead, let’s just hop from lily pad to lily pad. Or piece of floating debris to piece of floating debris (because that’s what this felt more like) because, that’s stepping outside the box and would be so cool right?!” 

So in an effort of slight defiance, Verbinski becomes a different director. To relay the eerie-ness of this creepy, mental hospital-like place, he really tries to play it up. So there’s lots of disturbing images to try to play up this weird mood and theme of this piece. To give the appearance of congruency, masking its story flaws. When all it really signifies is shock value for shock value’s sake. As if Verbinski was trying to become directors David Lynch and Nicolas Winding Refn but somehow claim he’s challenging himself and simply expanding his repertoire and just being a different, better version of himself. Fail. 

I was intrigued with Mia Goth. She nicely contributed to the weirdness of my 2014 favorite (and most viewed review to this day), and probably towards the top of that list if I had to compare all my favorites from previous years. But as I mentioned, weirdness for weirdness sake won’t cut it. And she was beauty in a canvas of chaos, hard to discern what to appreciate or what to take away from it all, “What is this?! … But look I found this beautiful spot over here.” 

Such potential to turn this into such an alluring mystery of what really goes on at this weird place. Weird seems to be the theme now a days in effort to “be different” and “step outside the box”. That’s fine, all of my number ones have been weird in recent years. But this was a disingenuous attempt. And I was so let down that the detective mystery in 2017 fashion was wasted with shock value for the sake of shock value’s sake. I LOVE detective mysteries! Frustrating me even more by confusing me with the deep historic aspect of the setting and how it should perfectly weave into the big picture leaving me satisfied with my meal and not frustrated to the point where I don’t even want to eat anymore but rather leave the dinner table and go do something else instead. Thus, withering away the hopefulness of this kicking off 2017 to rid the foul taste of last year’s poor attempts to deliver all around.  

I think Dane DeHaan is good at displaying a distraught character with mental issues who’s been through something horrible in his life. As he’s brilliantly done before. Even in commercial manner. But a sane, everyday, cutthroat businessman just trying to get down to business and this freak show place is getting in the way, but wait what’s all this weird stuff happening to me? … He probably should’ve been one of the crazies there in a supporting role as the side kick of the hero who truly embodies an outsider caught in the middle of crap. 

Mia Goth ... for shock value's sake in congruency with the film. 
Delicately place the cherry atop of the fact that I kept thinking this was going to end. And then there was a good 20 more minutes until I thought it was over again … and then it kept going for 30. Then the false sense completion to signify the real ending happened and I was just frustrated by that point with it’s failed potential.  
There are a couple other early promises though that can start off 2017. It just sucks this is clearly off that list.  

A Cure For Wellness (2017)
Mystery/Thriller, 146 Minutes, R
Story By: Justin Haythe & Gore Verbinski
Screenplay By: Justin Haythe 
Directed By: Gore Verbinski
Cast: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth

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