I love a mystery. Any film with a centralised question will instantly draw me in. Fractured drew me in with the premise of a missing family: are the hospital keeping a man’s wife and child and covering it up, or is he insane?
It’s a simple idea and this is a relatively simple movie. One thing I suppose it does right is it keeps you guessing for the majority of its run-time. It see-saws back and forth, playing up one side of the argument and then back to the other. The problem, however, is how ham-fisted this back and forth is.
Fractured is principally centred around Ray, played by Sam Worthington. For the most part, his performance is good, but as the film progresses, and his character becomes more manic, he begins to exaggerate. Exaggerate however, is the name of the game for everyone else. Every other character plays into another archetype. The psychologist is always prodding at Ray, making assumptions about his life, just ten minutes after meeting him. The doctors are on the verge of pantomime, with their raised eyebrows and suspicious side glances. While a cop duo split between untrusting and paranoid, to somewhat supportive.
The structure of the story is rather humourous. Ray collects a merry band of the aforementioned character types, who travel from one place to another in search of the truth. Although it keeps you guessing, as each new “piece of the puzzle” is discovered, I found myself shaking my head with a slight smirk creeping up my face. Throughout the whole film there is the answer you will be sure of from the start. Rather than throwing curve-balls, it essentially contradicts itself to confuse you. Then when the conclusion finally comes, it is neither satisfying, nor a light-bulb moment. It simply justifies that what you have watched is a waste of time.
Somewhere in this premise is a smart and perplexing film. But this is a Netflix mystery/thriller, so it is dumbed-down fodder that thinks it is way smarter than it is. The real mystery here, was why I was fool enough to watch it in the first place.