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What Went Wrong With… Fractured?

A review of Fractured (2019) starring Sam Worthington

SPOILERS AHEAD

I preface this review with a “spoiler” warning but Fractured isn’t a movie that’s in any way surprising or twist-filled and it can’t therefore be “spoiled”. The film-makers may think they’ve created a hospital-based Flightplan but the way in which this flick is directed and edited, everything is so obvious and utterly predictable. As soon as the opening titles roll, you know exactly where this film is going. After seeing brain scan images coupled with the title (“Fracture” is of course a synonym for “Split” – thank you M. Night Shyamalan) we then see the central character possibly talking to himself in his vehicle. Hmm… I wonder if his sanity has “fractured” (or will fracture)? Is there anything left for the audience to be in two minds about at that point?

The plot for this movie is simple: after an accident, Ray Monroe (played by Sam Worthington) and his wife Joanne (played by Lily Rabe) take their daughter Peri (played by Lucy Capri) to the E.R. Ray sits and waits as his wife takes Peri for some x-rays (or CT scans) but after a few hours, he begins to wonder where they’ve gone. Monroe asks the hospital staff but they have no record of his spouse or his child. What pray tell, has happened to his wife and kid?! The YouTube trailer for this filmic travesty is titled “CAN YOU SOLVE THE MYSTERY?” and the answer is a resounding yes!

The way in which Fractured is directed, you know how it’s going to end within the first ten minutes. There are umpteen signs that confirm your initial suspicions and there’s not much to change the inklings you have during the start. There’s multiple shots with Ray’s wife and child sat well away from him and they don’t interact with other characters in the same way Ray does (namely in the hospital admission/insurance admin scene). There’s also a shot of the rear-view mirror where Joanne and Peri look detached from the real world – the idea of imagined family members isn’t exactly subtle.

Given that this is supposed to be a mystery thriller, there’s no subtle clues and no meaningful red herrings. There’s nothing mysterious or thrilling here. For a mystery to work, you have to be constantly wondering about what’s happening and why. As a viewer, you’re supposed to be led one way only to have your expectations challenged; that’s how a well-crafted thriller usually works but Fractured is anything but “well-crafted”. I assume you’re supposed to ponder whether Ray’s wife and child actually exist or whether they even made it to the hospital but you don’t. Sam Worthington’s mannerisms and facial ticks all scream “nut job” and Lily Rabe’s sudden personality change is too noticeable. There’s also a completely far-fetched, illegal organ trading subplot that I assume is there to act as a diversion but that too is so obviously imagined.

Directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist, The Call) you wonder how someone who’s made decent films in the past can create a movie so lacking in skill and intelligence. The storytelling is woeful and the way everything is presented it’s crystal clear what’s about to take place.

Released a day after World Mental Health day, Fractured is yet another throwaway film that features a character with noggin-based issues (yeah – neurodiversity!). Even El Camino (the Breaking Bad movie) contained some unnecessary PTSD elements because “woke” film-makers are hard at work to look inclusive and caring these days. Fractured isn’t a Joker (a film that’s not only sympathetic to someone with mental illness but also captivating) this is simply a crappy movie that follows an alcoholic headcase running amuck at a hospital because either…

Option 1: Ray’s wife and child are being held against their will in the basement so their organs can be harvested and every single nurse and doctor in the hospital is conspiring against him…

or Option 2: Ray has killed (through negligence or due to an accident) his wife and daughter and they never made it to the hospital.

I wonder which one is true?

Fractured is so badly put together that at no point are you questioning what you’re seeing. A film like Identity offered a plot within a plot to show how mental illness can feel but this movie isn’t metaphorical or labyrinthine, it’s just plain shite.

Sam Worthington is in yet another filmic dud doing his usual generic American accent that could only come out of the mouth of an Aussie hack. Lily Rabe is one of the most irritating yet bland faces in film (and another benefiter of nepotism). And Lucy Capri is no Haley Joel Osment or Shirley Temple. The trio don’t have much star quality and when combined with the amateur direction and derivative story-line, the end result is a terrible movie that you never want to watch again. And you definitely don’t need a second opinion.

If you find yourself excited and enthralled by Fractured, you should probably get a referral from your G.P. to attend the MRI department at your local hospital. Anyone who enjoyed this shitfest needs their fucking head examining.

Ex-Ray.

Writing: 1/10

Directing: 1/10

Acting: 2/10

Overall: 1/10

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