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Film Review: Inoperable (2017)

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SYNOPSIS:

A young woman wakes up in a hospital with no knowledge of how she got there only to discover that a deadly hurricane is headed her way. To make matters worse she finds out that she is trapped in some sort of time loop and is being stalked by some of the hospital’s demented staff that have less than friendly intentions for her.  Will she be able to find a way out or will she be trapped there forever?  

REVIEW:

Let me just start out by saying that I love Danielle Harris and think that she always does an excellent job in every movie and TV show she has appeared in, and her performance in Inoperable is no exception. I was more than a little on the fence with this film but one of the things that works for it is her performance as it is obvious that she did the best with what she had to work with. While I wouldn’t say that it is a terrible film it just wasn’t really for me and I think that it had a lot of problems that keep it from being as good as it could have been. Don’t get me wrong, I liked some of the things about it but at the same time there were other elements of it that just fell flat. I didn’t hate it but at the same time I don’t think I’ll ever take the time to sit down and watch it all over again anytime soon.

The premise works to an extent. We have a woman (Harris) that is stuck in a traffic jam who keeps falling asleep and waking up in a strange hospital with no recollection of how she got there. At first none of the people at the hospital seem to be able to see her so I assumed initially that the big payoff was going to be that she was dead but that theory got thrown out pretty quickly when moments later she starts to interact with some of the other characters. It turns out she is trapped in some sort of time loop (sort of like Groundhog Day and Happy Death Day) where she is attacked over and over again by some of the employees at the hospital that enjoy conducting strange medical experiments on the patients there. Along the way she runs across two other people that seem to be stuck in the time loop as well, and they all try to figure out how to escape before a massive hurricane hits the hospital and kills them all.

While the plot is interesting the execution is more than a little sloppy and things get mighty confusing pretty quickly as if the people behind it didn’t know what direction to take. Much like 2010’s Burning Bright (which saw a woman and her autistic brother trapped in a house with a tiger during a hurricane) there was just too much going on with Inoperable and not all of it makes a lot of sense. Even though I liked the final reveal that (sort of) explains everything I was totally confused the majority of the time that I was watching the rest of the movie and felt like it was a convoluted mess for the most part. Even a day after watching it and thinking about it I’m still not sure that I understood everything.

I think that the biggest problem is that the movie struggles with a weak script. It’s almost as if the 2 guys that wrote it weren’t sure what they wanted to do with a somewhat decent idea they had for a movie and just threw a number of things into the mix to keep the viewers guessing regardless if they really made any sense or not. The initial explanation as to why Harris’ character is trapped in a time loop seems very confusing and forced, and even though I liked the ending (which really explains what is happening) doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the movie and just comes out of nowhere like the screenwriters just came up with it at the last minute to try to shock viewers. I personally liked the twist at the end to an extent but at the same time it just feels odd and very rushed compared to everything else that takes place during the rest of the film. I’m pretty sure that the guys behind it didn’t really know how to end things and just decided to throw the twist in at the end because they couldn’t decide what else to do. It isn’t the worst twist in the history of film but it just seems very out of place for the most part.

On the plus side, the highlight of the film is without a doubt Danielle Harris. She does a great job as usual and pretty much saves the entire movie herself with her performance. I recently interviewed her and she stated that it was a hard shoot because it was filmed in sequence and she was in every single scene, which was without a doubt difficult since I am sure she was totally burned out with filming by the time shooting wrapped. I have a feeling that anyone else would have phoned in her performance after filming in such a manner but Harris definitely doesn’t and pretty much knocks it out of the park. I know that she probably got tired of filming some of the same scenes over and over again (especially the ones that involve her sitting in the car during the traffic jam) but she doesn’t show it and gives an excellent performance. She is pretty much the main reason to watch it and if you are a fan you won’t be disappointed.

In the end I have to say that Inoperable is a pretty mediocre flick that most people will forget about a day or so after they see it. It is more than a little confusing but it is at least watchable and not nearly as bad as some other online reviewers made it out to be. I think the biggest issue is just that there is too much going on and the people behind it just really didn’t know what exactly they wanted to do with it. Even though it is a mess for the most part it does have its moments and kept me entertained as I tried to figure out what exactly was happening (for the most part, anyway). Check it out if it sounds like something that you would be interested in but I suggest you go into it with pretty low expectations.

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