The idea of what memory constitutes or the idea of trauma reflects in the psychology of a person and their experiences. This is the basis of “Fractured“. The beauty is some of the Netflix original films, whether acquired or not, is that they explore sometimes more character driven pieces that are based in a simple genre structures that don’t need a lot of set pieces but definitely reflect in production value and a proven actor. Sam Worthington, undeniably known as the lead in “Avatar” and its upcoming sequels, has leaned into these types of psychological genre thrillers on Netflix and found a nice niche in well written and well directed tomes that might have ended up with no distribution simply because they exist in the mid-range.
Directed by Brad Anderson, who made a more bleak but similar “Session 9” with David Caruso many years ago, the film “Fractured” exists in a realm of misperception where Worthington’s lead character arrives with his wife and daughter after an accident. However, after said wife and daughter are taken back for a CAT scan, they seemingly disappear. Worthington has always had a knack of playing paranoia as his film “Man On A Ledge” interpreted. “Fractured” at times plays more like a Hitchcock film or a “Twilight Zone” episode with a little less dread. The threads are fairly easy to follow and the violence not too overwhelming which makes for an interesting evening watch that is not too overcome by any ideals that it is trying to present.
The minimal locations and barrenness of the tundra that they are traveling across is completely reflective of the character’s mindset. The story is disjointed on purpose but the structural reflexivity does make the story move without bogging it down in too many mechanics. “Fractured” is a tight little genre thriller with understated performances but a steady idea of what it is and what it is trying to accomplish.
By Tim Wassberg
The idea of a hacker on the level of Rain Man who knows not what he does but just that it needs to be done forms the basis of “The Fox” [Frederick Forsyth/G.P. Putnam’s Sons/304pgs] which has a young brilliant British super hacker who has Asperger’s Syndrome. The book does not follow his thought process but rather a former British bureau chief as he tries to outsmart his Russian counterpart in a post Cold War all digital world where everything can be manipulated by computer. What is undeniably intriguing that the book does. much like “The Hunt For Red October”, is its use of old school manipulation and counter offensive techniques to get the job done. Ultimately it always comes back to the human element. Also the book feels very current and is in its references without making specific naming of certain players. However it’s the perception and interrelation of politics in terms of North Korea and the Russians that seem particularly spot on. Some of the set pieces including the beaching of a submarine on a sand bar which was just being used as a form of intimidation seems particularly well played. In an age of “Mission Impossible” where it is trying to be cutting edge, this book achieves the modern feeling without becoming too technical, as well as engaging and quick without losing the human edge. The essence also shows counter intelligence and misdirection as it should be shown, not like “Red Sparrow” which despite its best intentions focused too much on character instead of the end game. The end game here works well but like “Skyfall”, it understands that everything is cyclical.
By Tim Wassberg