I have always been a fan of characters with mental powers, even though they really should all be villains. The fact is there are no powers more designed for corruption than mental powers, especially mind control.

There is a bunch of mind control going on in the new Ben Affleck action/adventure film Hypnotic and, unfortunately, it does not deliver the excitement a decent premise promised, and, instead, turned out to be an overly gimmicked mess.

Ben Affleck played detective Danny Rourke, who was dealing with the guilt over his failure to prevent his young daughter’s kidnapping at a park a few years prior. When he returned to duty, Rourke wound up in a mysterious bank robbery where the main culprit Dellrayne (William Fichtner) is using hypnosis powers to have innocent people carry out his plans. When Rourke discovered that Dellrayne has some connection to his daughter’s disappearance, he is lead to the door of a tarot card reading psychic Diana (Alice Braga), who is more than what she seemed.

Soon, the plot gets convoluted and flipped on its head.

None of this felt real and I was not engaged much with the story. Affleck did not seem to buy into the story either, as I wondered why he was showing such little emotion as a guilt-ridden father. That was actually explained later in a bizarre twist that would have even found M. Night Shyamalan thinking it was too much.

What is real and what is a mind-f*** does not provide the intrigue for this story. There was just too much exposition in a movie that all of that exposition turned out to be wasted.

I did like parts of Alice Braga’s work. She was solid at times, but her character becomes way too confused and tangled. William Fichtner made a fun villain at the beginning when he seemed to be the Terminator-type character that kept coming, but his second half of the movie character could not live up to the beginning.

It was great to see LOST’s Jeff Fahey (aka Frank Lapidus) make a short appearance.

I just did not find this one to be engaging enough and too filled with twists that made me care less for the characters.

2.4 stars

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