Thriller centering on a military veteran (Adrien Brody) who returns to his native Vermont suffering from bouts of amnesia. When he is accused of murder and lands in an asylum, a well-meaning doctor puts him on a heavy course of experimental drugs, restrains him in a jacket-like device, and locks him away in a body drawer of the basement morgue. The process sends him on a journey into the future, where he can foresee his death in four day's time. Now the only question that matters is: can the woman he meets in the future save him?
When you put on The Jacket
, prepare for a head-trip into fragmented reality. Coproducer Steven Soderbergh might have fared better with this mind-bender than British director John Maybury (who indulges an excess of heavy-handed "style"), but it's intriguing enough to hold your attention as Gulf War veteran Jack Starks (Adrian Brody) sustains a head-wound that results in amnesia and fragmented timelines. One involves Jack's apparent killing of a policeman, after which he's institutionalized and subjected to straight-jacketed experiments in sensory isolation (with Kris Kristofferson as the doctor in charge); the other is a possible future involving a nihilistic waitress (Keira Knightley) with connections to his past, and the discovery that Jack will die in four days if he can't solve the brain-teasing puzzle he's fallen into. The Jacket
aspires to the cleverness of Memento
and falls short of that target, but Brody gives this exercise in desperate disorientation a certain gravitas that keeps you watching as his tormenting visions begin to unravel. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brad Renfro and Kelly Lynch make the most of their small supporting roles. --Jeff Shannon, Amazomn.com