Eye For Film >> Movies >> Inoperable (2017) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
Have you ever woken up in an abandoned hospital? Probably not, but it's surprisingly common in films, especially if humanity is threatened by some form of existential crisis. This time it isn't triffids or zombies but the more mundane threat of a hurricane that has led to the place being evacuated, at least if the intermittent announcements over the tanoy system are to be believed. Somehow Amy (Danielle Harris) has been left behind, presumably by the same careless staff members who prepped her and hooked her up to a drip but left her heavy make-up intact. She's not quite ready to save humankind, however. It proves difficult enough just to leave the building.
It's "something to do with conservation of energy," we are told in due course. There are times when it's better to say nothing at all. Amy is looking for explanations, however; it hasn't taken her long to notice that she's moving backwards and forwards in time. Something is definitely amiss. Then there are the people she runs into who seem to be her friends and talk desperately about the need for escape. And the doctor who keeps trying to strap people to beds, ranting about psychiatry and poking around in their innards (top tip: sausages are great for this kind of special effect, bacon rather less so).
This is a film in which a great deal of running around translates into little by way of plot development. The last fifth of it delivers a tragic backstory designed to change our perspective on what we've seen. The effect is rather like one of those Sherlock Holmes stories in which the maestro solves the mystery using information not available to the reader, except it's not clear that this mystery makes logical sense at all. Much of it seems to be chaos for chaos' sake, with the punk aesthetic of the final credits suggesting that this was expected to be a lot more exciting than it is.
The actors here are mostly serviceable but lack charisma, which is especially disappointing when it comes to the plum role of the doctor. Little is made of a location that seems more like a money-saving option that an inspiration. For all the urgency with which the dialogue is delivered, this is a thriller that rarely thrills and a time slip story that feels repetitious for the wrong reason.Reviewed on: 28 Nov 2017