The Jacket sparked some interest for me when it came out because of the unusual plot and the knowledge that it had filmed in Bangour Village Hospital in Scotland. IMDB describes the plot as A military veteran goes on a journey into the future, where he can foresee his death and is left with questions that could save his life and those he loves.
Sounds really interesting doesn’t it? It certainly did to me, and it suggested that the plot could be complex, involved and very consuming…yet it kind of failed to deliver for me.
Adrien Brody was quite good in the film, and his performance was at times very strong emotionally. Some of those scenes where he was about to be locked in the morgue drawer were quite intense, but then during other scenes he just seemed to be there and working through his lines. Now that could have been because he was supposed to be withdrawn, but that’s not how it came across at all.
Keira Knightley did a similar job, she was good and not as emotionally charged as Brody, but there didn’t seem to be anything for her to really get into. Jennifer Jason Leigh seemed awkward and out of place, a very stilted performance from her.
Someone who did stand out, and give me a big surprise at the same time, was Daniel Craig, the new Bond. He really did seem out of it and quite on the edge, he showed off some of his acting which I hope to see in the new Bond movie.
Now, to the story. It had a lot of potential and built itself up well, knowing that the character was going to die on a certain date and that he was racing against time to discover what was going to happen and how to prevent it, yet that journey became quite drawn out, sidetracked and was ultimately pushed to the side. This was, for me, the hook of the movie, the big question mark that would provide the quest and the thriller elements to the movie, but it was lost. As the character tried to find the answers he was sidetracked by meaningless scenes, or his questioning just stopped when he could have and would have pressed harder to find out what someone know about his death rather than saying thank you and leaving.
Some of these sidetracked storylines were good and made some sense, and one even goes on to be the ultimate message of the movie, yet he never really does seem concerned with saving himself when someone really in that situation would be. It just never quite rang true for me.
In the end the possibilities of a more complex and insightful ending are wrapped up for simplicities sake and to make the ending seem much warmer and caring. Yet it could have been so much more, something much more thoughtful.