Poor Ethan. The protagonist of "Implanted" is a young man (Justice Leak) coming out of experimental surgery with memory problems, emotional trauma and anger at the doctor-dad who appears to control his life. Ethan is also learning that … all is not as it seems.
But in the regrettably amateurish hands of writer-director Thomas Verrette, Ethan's journey toward the truth feels more like watching someone wandering through one of those pharmaceutical commercials with a laundry list of side effects. The movie's own warning signs include needlessly elliptical conversations when cold hard contextual information would do, soap opera dialogue ("Give me my life back!") and endless shots to overblown music of Ethan confusedly staring. Other symptoms: disjointedly bad acting (led by Elizabeth L. Keener's cartoonish French accent) and about eight minutes' worth of story stretched beyond its breaking point.
The only thing "Implanted" has going for it is a resourcefully atmospheric visual sense (Seth Iliff is the cinematographer) that suggests a bigger-budgeted psychological drama. Those notions quickly dissolve, however, under the interminable self-importance and narrative laziness of someone overreaching for Christopher Nolan-like mind-bendingness.
"Implanted." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes. Playing: At Arena Cinema in Hollywood.
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