A Cure for Wellness Screen 9 articles

A Cure for Wellness

2016

A Cure for Wellness Poster
  • The subject of Gore Verbinski’s “A Cure for Wellness” is the toxic effect of having too much money, and it’s a fitting sign of the movie’s obliviousness that it looks fulsomely expensive from beginning to end... The director doesn’t use one shot if he can figure out how to use several; he doesn’t take a picture without finding a way to move the camera flashily. He uses liquids and surfaces to capture eye-catching reflections, and fills the frame with conspicuously curated objects.

  • It’s difficult to separate the inert, interminable 146-minute end product... from the PR, specifically the “visionary” label affixed to Verbinski. Make no mistake, there are "visions" here, but they're of the hollowest sort—pretty pictures, some interesting in broad-stroke conception, that are nonetheless leeched of those intangible qualities that would lend them genuine grandeur and thematic heft.

  • Verbinski spins a gothic horror tale in the vein of Rosemary's Baby, though his movie seems to last forever and, when it finally ends, leaves a sour aftertaste of overproduced, overblown schlock.

  • There’s a certain pleasure to be had from an expensive misfire. That’s the best that can be said for Gore Verbinski’s archly Gothic psycho-drama A Cure For Wellness. It’s queasily-entertaining enough to make a late night mark on cable networks, where it may be eventually hailed as misunderstood and its seemingly interminable 146-minute running time broken up by trips to the bathroom, kitchen, or calls to emergency services as viewer atrophy sets in.

  • If you could nick a David Fincher film’s throat, hang it upside down, and bleed it for two days, it would look like this movie. As a fetish object, it’s impressive. But as a fully satisfying feature-length drama, it’s a bust. And it’s iffy as a visionary spectacle, too, because it’s too long and over-scaled, and its control of tone and theme never matches the care that has obviously been lavished on its production. This is all a shame, because there’s much to admire.

  • An assertive push on the filmmaker's part to enter the pantheon of visionary directors who've commanded swollen budgets while thrusting idiosyncratic visions and big ideas onto the screen... Such ambition should spike the curiosity of any cinephile with a pulse, and that A Cure for Wellness is ultimately more conventional than any of its points of inspiration doesn't diminish the fact that Verbinski has managed to bring such visual panache to multiplexes in the first place.

  • Some may naturally go looking for political subtext in A Cure for Wellness, but doing so would misunderstand the film’s intentions. Verbinski is more interested in stretching the boundaries of our senses through cinema, contorting logic to breakdown walls of conformity. If we happen to look in the mirror afterward and see ourselves anew, then so be it.

  • Justin Haythe’s script draws narrative inspiration from Thomas Mann’s 1924 novel, The Magic Mountain, as well as visual and thematic ideas carried over from Verbinski’s other films, from the aquatic imagery of the Pirates series and The Ring, to his underlying (and maybe even unhealthy) obsession with Chinatown. Polanski’s classic was paid affectionate, if incongruous, homage in Verbinski’s animated Western Rango, but its influence manifests here in a much darker and more diabolical way.

  • A kind of baroque classical nightmare, it's too sturdy, busy and sure of itself to be much of a horror film. Nor does it mean to be. It wears the gown of horror, sings the tune, but its ambition is only to show off the horror imagery in service of a search for something else. A sort of beginning. It makes no bigger a meal of its reversals and clues than is required. Verbinski knows the mystery of the images is what draws the curious into the theatre, not any promise of a finished Rubix cube.

More Links