Netflix's Fractured Review
Netflix's latest is a mystery/conspiracy thriller with Sam Worthington looking for his family, who nobody else believes exists.Sam Worthington hardly garnered anybody's attention with his high-profile roles in Avatar and the 'Titans movies, soon getting lumped into that same plank-acting category as successor Jai Courtney (best staying silent as a henchman in Jack Reacher, worst as Kyle Reese in Terminator: Genisys). But Worthington has actually had a few halfway decent roles across the last decade which nobody will have really noticed, from Texas Killing Fields to Hacksaw Ridge, taking smaller parts presumably because - like James Cameron himself - he's been locked into Avatar sequels for forever. He's also aligned with Netflix before, for the anticipated but ultimately anticlimactic The Titan, leaving this return to the streaming service hardly heralded by a fanfare.
Worthington aligned with Netflix before for the anticlimactic The Titan, leaving this return hardly heralded by a fanfareAfter an accident involving his daughter, Ray falls asleep whilst waiting at the hospital, waking up to find that nobody appears to even remember his wife and daughter at all, driving Ray into a wild conspiracy as he sees police seemingly taking bribes, transplant boxes being exchanged seemingly nefariously, and a multitude of hospital workers - orderlies, doctors, nurses - and later police, who he increasingly believes are all involved in a grand scheme which involves his missing family.
Fractured isn't as subtle as some of the conspiracy / psychological thrillers it *appears* to be most comparable to. There are strong hints of everything from Shutter Island to The Game in it (the latter, particularly, in the impressive score), and maybe even a dash of American Psycho and Angel Heart, but it feels like Fractured tips its hand early on, threatening to undermine the tension later and instead transform it into frustration as you wait for the inevitable.
For a Friday-night-in thriller, whether or not you're not up to date with Breaking Bad, you're probably better off with El Camino
Worthington is actually on form, committed to extracting every ounce of paranoia and stress out of the role, whipping up a storm in what soon proves to be basically a high-concept one-man, one-location show. He almost sells the is-it-a-conspiracy-or-is-he-crazy? through-line, trying his best to hold the mystery together, particularly as it goes through a succession of would-be endings in a bid to avoid the inevitable. Ultimately, it feels like there are multiple, possibly better, paths that could have been taken, and Fractured isn't at all clean when it comes to tidying up loose ends. Largely as a result of the ending, it'll never go down as even a B-movie Netflix riff on those aforementioned genre classics, and if this had made it to the Big Screen, it may have proven even less satisfying. For a Friday-night-in-mystery thriller, whether or not you're up to date on Breaking Bad, you're probably better off with El Camino, with Netflix once again proving that they are better at the journey than the destination.
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.