Going into a Gore Verbinski film it’s easy to have a few expectations. One is that the film will have beautiful visuals, thanks to both Verbinski and his talented cinematographer Bojan Bazelli. The other is to expect a longer run time than normal, which can be fine, along as you don’t have things to do. With his new film “A Cure for Wellness” it certianly fills both of those requirements, the only other question is, how is the rest of the film?
Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is one of those guys from Wall Street not many people are a fan of. He has all the mannerisms down, which helps him move up the ladder. After closing a big deal he draws the attention of his bosses and is asked to take care of a special project for them. It all sounds simple enough; they want him to travel to a spa to retrieve their company’s C.E.O., who has decided to take a permanent vacation. The plan as strange as it sounds should be left to someone else, however Lockhart is given no choice in the matter. Once there, he finds out the picture perfect retreat at the base of the Swiss Alps has a dark history. While everything on the surface looks good, Lockhart feels like there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. That feeling starts with Volmer (Jason Isaacs), who is the director of the facility and a girl named Hannah (Mia Goth), who looks just a little out of place. Adding to that the patients appear to be getting worse, health wise. Lockhart falls victim to the happenings as well, but keeps his head above water just enough to piece the puzzle together. The only question is will he figure it out before its too late?
The search for any cure can be an adventure because of what’s at stake. When it comes to the search for “A Cure for Wellness” the adventure is definitely drawn out as it simmers most of the film. You feel every bit of its two and a half plus hour run time, something that feels draining most of the time. There are some good in the film though. The thing that works for it the best is the beauty of the movie itself, as it makes you want to live in its world, minus all the things actually happening in it. Once you get past the beauty, the film does possess some substance, mainly the performances by DeHann, Isaacs, and Goth. Where it starts to falter is in the story by Justin Haythe, even with its good elements, it starts to drown in the not so good ones. There are many gothic horror elements with a little monster movie feel to it all, but somehow it just isn’t enough. I give Haythe and Verbinski props for the effort, and while sometimes the effort is enough, this is just not ones of those times.