I kept thinking through this whole movie just how long ago did they film this? How long had this been on the shelf because the young boy starring in Incarnate is David Mazouz, who plays Bruce Wayne on Fox’s Gotham series, and he looks so different now…so much older. Young Bruce Wayne is very close to a man. Here he was just a little boy. So why am I just now seeing this film. Could it be because it is a bad movie?
In the 1980s, Marvel Comics put out a comic called “Nightmask” in their New Universe imprint where the main character could jump into the mind of sleeping people and help them out. I always believed that Nightmask would have made an interesting movie.
It seems that Incarnate is evidence to the contrary.
Now, I did not completely hate this movie. I mean, WWE superstar Mark Henry makes a cameo. Um…
The film has Aaron Eckhart.
Hm. That really might be it.
Dr. Seth Ember (Eckhart) is a wheelchair-bound psychic who is hired to help people “possessed” by some kind of spirit. The film takes the religion out of the exorcism here and made it more scientific, (which was interesting). Ember had ulterior motives for taking these cases, and that was a chance to go searching for a specific “demon” named Maggie who had killed Ember’s wife and child in a car wreck. When Maggie takes control of Camreon (Mazouz), she taunts Ember to put himself on line to get his revenge.
The film does have an interesting premise, but there is so much garbage around it that the premise gets lost in the midst of it all. Emjay Anthony, who is one of my favorite child actors working today (Chef, Bad Moms), is totally wasted here as Ember’s dead son. The writing is bad and the dialogue is heavy-handed and exposition filled. They add scenes that make no sense with the story itself. There is a couple of scenes with Eckhart and one of his friends Felix (Tomas Arana) that basically had nothing to do with the plot of the film. I’m not sure why that was included at all.
The film brings in the father of Cameron and that character makes zero impact on the film. It was as if the film just needed material to fill time.
I do believe that Aaron Eckhart was doing what he could to make this movie better. He wanted to be able to be that actor that can transcend the material and put that film on his back. He failed here. Eckhart, up until this point, has had a pretty good year, first in an okay sequel London Has Fallen, and then being the best part of Bleed for This and being just great in Sully, so I know he can bring it. Unfortunately, this film wasted the efforts of Eckhart and a potentially intriguing twist on the possession movie with poor writing and uninspiring characters that really did not help the narrative.
Plus, the movie implied that there were others beside Ember who had this skill to enter people’s dreams. The were called incarnates, but this was just tossed in to explain how he could do it and never touched upon again. This could have really been a strong hook to make this more than just another poorly made movie.
I still would like to see a Nightmask in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel would know how to handle it. Incarnate did not.