“Academy Award Winner” Adrien Brody in his last couple of movies, has played loners existing in worlds of their own (in movies named appropriately for those worlds): The Pianist, The Village, and The Jacket.
Adrien Brody, with his everyday good looks, does a great job playing Gulf War vet Jack Starks. Co-star Keira Knightly, beautiful as ever, has a smaller but important part playing Jackie; a mysterious character and sometime love interest that interweaves herself into Jack’s life.
Jack is truly one unlucky guy.
A Marine sergeant in the Persian Gulf War in 1991, Starks smiles kindly at a native kid, who responds by shooting him in the head. This is the start. Things go white as Jack tells us, "I was 27 years old the first time I died."
Miraculously, he survives. That may have been good luck, but bad luck follows:
After a long recovery, Starks is seen a year later hitchhiking in his native Vermont, where he encounters a young woman, Jean (Kelly Lynch), with a small daughter, Jackie (Laura Marano), by the roadside. Jean has just about passed out and her beat up pickup has stalled.
Jack Starks quickly gets the truck going. Jean is so drunk that while nodding in and out of consciousness, she thinks he had tried to molest her daughter Jackie.
Jack continues on his way; this time hitching a ride with a young guy (Brad Renfro - very short appearance) who is promptly stopped by a highway patrolman. The driver immediately opens fire on the officer and flees the scene.
Starks, who was wounded in the crossfire and blacked out, is blamed for the cop's murder and promptly sentenced to an institution for the criminally insane.
Dr. Kristofferson (creepy, intimidating) has a somewhat unorthodox “treatment” involving putting Jack in a strait-jacket, shooting him full of drugs and locking him in a morgue drawer for several hours on end.
Trapped in the drawer, Jack somehow manages to travel 15 years into the future to investigate his own untimely death.
He wakes up in what he will later discover is 2007, standing outside a diner in a snowswept landscape. He meets a cute goth gal (Keira Knightley) who seems strangely drawn to him.
And while at her house, he discovers ... his own dog tags. I like these things in movies. You must remember details and how they come into significance later. Here, his dog tags.
How can that be though? Time tripping? Clearly, she's the little girl, Jackie. But he can't be Starks, she insists, because Starks died, and not long after he was committed.
His death, then, is imminent, unless he can figure out how it happened and whether there's any way to prevent it....
Another version of the trailer:
Adrien Brody...Jack Starks
Kris Kristofferson...Dr. Becker
Jennifer Jason Leigh...Dr. Lorenson
Brad Renfro...Stranger in station wagon
Laura Marano...Young Jackie
"The Jacket" was written by Massy Tadjedin from a story by Tom Bleecker and Marc Rocco, and directed by John Maybury. Brian Eno, a favorite of mine does the score. (A small bit of trivia: he did the “Windows 95” startup sound, along with producing some work with T-Heads and U2, also working with Bowie – plus tons of other stuff.)
Another movie I like. I think both Brody and Knightley were well cast and the movie itself (though dark at times) was entertaining. I liked the ending too. I thinking I should maybe do a lighter movie next time; A story of a boy and his dog sounds good. Old Yeller? Never mind.