Gothika

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Rating: Rated R for violence and language 
Starring: Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr. and Penelope Cruz 
Directed By:Mathieu Kassovitz 

Final Grade: 

“I see dead people.”…That used to be the phrase a few years back whenever Haley Joel Osment came onto the screen. The Success of the supernatural thriller, The Sixth Sense brought the young Osment to super stardom and people back to theaters more than once. Since Osment announced to Audiences that he can see dead people and that he can help them, there have been a lot of movies and TV shows that have tried to follow in the young boy’s footsteps. Gothika follows the supernatural trend only this time our main character isn’t Haley Joel Osment, but Oscar Winner Halle Berry.

Halle is a well-respected psychiatrist working in a prison. But one night she thinks she sees a young girl standing in the middle of the road. Her car crashes, and she wakes up the next day accused of the murder of her husband. Now for once in her life the tables have turned. She quickly learns what it feels like to have no one believe your story, as the other doctors’ laugh off her story of the young girl in the middle of the road. But Halle soon learns that the young girl is a victim of a killing who is trying to lead her to the dark truth behind her husband’s death.

Now I would love to say I liked this film. But If I did I would be telling you a bold faced lie. Many times before you have all heard my how much I don’t like Halle Berry Rant so I will spare you the rant. Sadly enough it’s not Halle Berry that makes this film bad. What make it bad are the gaping plot holes, the mediocre story, the lack of originality and in the end the lack of morality.

It is almost sad to see an Oscar Winning Actress find her way into a film like this. Berry’s character has no depth at all, and she doesn’t really get the chance to express what little acting talent she does have. And even if the story didn’t deliver with sound characters, they had multiple opportunities for Halle Berry nudity, which would have had the guys standing in box office lines. But instead they decided to completely rid the movie of that as well in order to make room the advancement of the plot.

Our ridiculously constructed plot leaves giant holes, and makes you think out loud at times, “How could that happen?” Or “Why would that person do that?” The answer is simple: It’s an easy way to advance the plot. During Halle’s escape for the prison to find the “truth” she stumbles upon a guard, who not only ignores her and allows her to run out the door, but also hand her his car keys and tells her to get out of there. Obviously he doesn’t care about his job. There are multiple other scenes that really make you suspend all disbelief to really find any enjoyment in the film.

You know what? I’ve been working on this review 4 times over, and all I really want to do is Rant on how much I really didn’t like this film…. So I am going to call it quits early this time around. I have nothing positive to say about this film other than Robert Downey Jr. did a nice job, but the unoriginal, uninspired plot easily covered it. The ending angers me because apparently it is ok to kill as long as you kill the bad guy! Because we find Berry back out on the streets like nothing happened. Apparently if ghosts come to me in my sleep and tell me to kill someone because they are bad it is ok. I did not know this. I wish those very same ghosts would have come to me in my sleep and told me that The Mike should have reviewed Gothika, and that this film really wasn’t worth the film it was printed on. If you want to watch something like Gothika, whip out a copy of any serial killer movie (Murder by Numbers perhaps) and then go watch the Sixth Sense again. You will find much more enjoyment out of that, and not have to pay the expensive Box Office ticket to be sadly disappointed. 

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