Wrecked Movie Review
Directed by Kevin & Michael Goetz
Written by Kyle Killen
2013, Region 2, 82 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 26th May 2014
Josh Duhamel as Mitchell
Dan Fogler as Carter
Peter Michael Goetz as Old Man in Car
Christie Burson as Annie
Jamie Donovan as Tow Truck Driver
Miracle Laurie as Joanne
The Goetz brothers have crafted a genre film that unfolds as an introspective examination of man's deepest fears. It is as if those lingering doubts embedded so deep in our psyche are excavated and torched in front of our bewildered eyes. The simplicity of Wrecked is its primary strength; to all intents and purposes the plot is based on a singular moment in time. Two childhood friends are on a road trip when their vehicle breaks down in the middle of a scorching and isolated desert. With no immediate potential of rescue, Mitchell (Josh Duhamel) and Carter (Dan Fogler) are left stranded with all the time in the world to re-connect. . Their encounters span all facets of life from the seemingly mundane through to the deeply personal. Wrecked is brilliantly acted with strong chemistry between the leads. Effectively divided into two strands, Wrecked is at its peak in the first of these sections when it is primed on the surprisingly effective and witty conversations between the disenchanted friends. The second act transforms into a form of survivalist horror which prevents the narrative from reaching its dramatic crescendo.
Often friends make decisions in life that we don't agree with. We find their decision making to be fundamentally flawed and overwhelmingly confusing. Do you challenge that very fine balance between concern and intrusion or do you simply offer unconditional support regardless of one's burning desire to set the record straight? Wrecked focuses on this universal dilemma and homes in on the consequences of mismanaging it. On the surface, Mitchell and Carter's friendship is a fruitful one; it's not until they are left in pure isolation, away from the hectic distraction of the outside world that cracks begin to appear. Mitchell is a newly married man with children; he embodies the responsible father figure with a mortgage to pay and a job to hold down. In contrast, Cater is the aspiring writer who could have gone to law school but 'followed his dreams' of becoming an author. Polite conversations soon spiral into unwavering personal attacks of malicious intent. Why did Mitchell wed the rebound girl and is married life all that it is cracked up to be? Why has Carter allowed his dreams to transform and submerge his life into a rotting pool of inadequacy? As tensions mount the harsh environment begins taking its toll on their physical and mental state. Familiarity breeds contempt and they soon become one another's greatest adversary.
While the character dynamics work well, the convoluted second half of Wrecked doesn't elevate the Goetz brothers' vision to its ambitious, tragic forte. As the pair struggle to remain alive in the arid conditions, hallucinations overcome their existence as they desperately cling to the hope of rescue. Sadly, there aren't the thrilling moments or fear inducing set pieces to really push boundaries in the second act. The ending is sure to divide; it has a wildly disorienting impact that is far-fetched but nonetheless asks the audience to re-evaluate the meaning of reality. Is the mind capable of creating a hyper-reality or fooling us into a state of epiphany? Oscar Wilde once said that a 'true friend stabs you in the front', in that they confront your mistakes and save you from falling into the abyss rather than merrily stroking your ego. Wrecked offers a visceral take on the fragility of friendship, if only its horror could match its searing dialogue.