Blake Crane reviews “A Cure For Wellness” and “The Great Wall” for Film Racket

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“A CURE FOR WELLNESS”

Studio films rarely get as bonkers as A Cure for Wellness. While admirable for its audacity, Gore Verbinski’s stylish gothic horror throwback is plagued by a drawn-out twisty plot and allusions to several other existential chillers that undermine the demented experience. There’s a bizarre, discomforting thriller trapped inside the film’s prolonged 146-minute runtime, but there’s too much numbing, repetitive rubbish suffocating the strangeness.

“THE GREAT WALL”

The Great Wall is huge in China, and so is the movie of the same name. China is a rapidly emerging box office market and The Great Wall has already earned over $147 million after being released there in December.

This says nothing of quality of course, but with Hollywood ready to further tap that marketplace, it’s worth noting because of the fusion of those involved in this production. The Great Wall is the first largely English-language film for visionary director Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), working with a big American star and a team of three Hollywood screenwriters, plus three more with story credits. If Chinese box office results aren’t a predictor of quality, six writing credits might be.

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