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Movie review: 'Trance' is energetic and erotic, but also confused

Published April 11, 2013 2:36 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

There's suspended disbelief, there's complete abandonment of logic, and then there's "Trance," a heist thriller that turns out to be a different animal entirely.

James McAvoy stars as Simon, an auction-house worker who is labeled a hero when art thieves crack his skull while trying to nick a precious Goya. Simon's brain injury jostles his memory, which becomes a problem when the thieves' leader Franck (Vincent Cassel) muscles Simon — who was actually involved in planning the heist — to find the now-missing painting. Franck forces Simon to try hypnosis, which is how he ends up involved with Elizabeth (Rosario Dawson), a hynpotherapist with a few secrets of her own.

Director Danny Boyle, making his first movie since "127 Hours" and directing the London Olympics opening ceremonies, applies his usual high gloss and some frank eroticism to the outlandish script (by Joe Ahearne, adapting a 2011 TV-movie, and John Hodge, who wrote Boyle's "Trainspotting" and "Shallow Grave"). Ultimately, though, the gobsmacking plot twists and character reversals are too much to swallow.

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Opens Friday, April 12, at theaters everywhere; rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence, some grisly images, and language; 101 minutes.