2 Best Movies to Watch From Double R Productions

Staff & contributors

This B-movie sci-fi-action-thriller from co-writer-director Robert Rodriguez starts out like a hammy pastiche of (the already overdone) Taken, but its interminable succession of galaxy-brain twists reveals other obvious influences — among them Inception, Memento, and Shutter Island. Fine ingredients, but the recipe is all wrong, as a gravelly-voiced, seemingly barely awake Ben Affleck sleepwalks his way through the cringy dialogue. Alongside William Fichtner in shady supervillain mode, Affleck is joined in that endeavor by Alice Braga as the psychic who is (seemingly) helping his Detective Rourke track down his (again, seemingly!) kidnapped daughter, though what Braga mostly does is hold the audience’s hand and explain the plot’s increasingly convoluted sci-fi elements to us. At one point, she tells Rourke that “pain keeps the mind awake” — and, while the excruciating script doesn’t seem to have that effect on Affleck (judging from his lethargic performance), it’s hard not to find yourself a little enlivened by Hypnotic’s sheer absurdity.

Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller

Actor: Alice Braga, Ben Affleck, Bobby Hernandez, Bonnie Discepolo, Carrick O'Quinn, Corina Calderon, Dayo Okeniyi, Derek Russo, Gabriel 'G-Rod' Rodriguez, Hala Finley, J. D. Pardo, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeff Fahey, Kelly Frye, Kelly Phelan, Lawrence Varnado, Nikki Dixon, Ryan Ryusaki, Sonia Izzolena, William Fichtner, Zane Holtz

Director: Robert Rodriguez

The Spy Kids movies have always been knowingly corny, which hasn't changed for this latest installment—it's just that it also has an odd lack of color and personality to its generic action movie shenanigans. This is especially disappointing given the film's focus on video games, which it only seems to understand in their most surface level terms. And because there's a lack of definition in the movie's rules and logic, the plot progresses without any weight or sense of mounting excitement. These are just people going through the motions toward some unclear message about the value of honesty and kindness, which never really factor into the actual adventure and keep the status quo firmly unchanged.

Genre: Action, Action & Adventure, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Science Fiction

Actor: Billy Magnussen, Connor Esterson, D.J. Cotrona, Everly Carganilla, Gina Rodriguez, Jersey Johnston, Joe Schilling, Neal Kodinsky, Solar Dena Bennett, Zachary Levi

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Rating: PG